|Local forces searching for the bodies of the boys who drowned in a section of the Trà Khúc River in central Quảng Nam Province. — Vietnamplus Photo Vĩnh Trọng|
HÀ NỘI — Nine sixth grade schoolboys drowned yesterday afternoon while they were swimming in a section of the Trà Khúc River in central Quảng Ngãi Province’s Thanh Khiết Village.
Following investigations by local police, divers discovered the bodies of the nine victims at about 4:50pm after two hours of searching.
The victims, who were classmates, were believed to have studied at Nghĩa Hà Secondary School. All of the victims were identified. The families of the victims have taken their bodies to bury.
Nguyễn Hữu Cường, a villager, said at 2pm, he passed by the river and saw nine sets of school uniforms, but no children. He called for villagers to dive into the river to find the children.
According to Tuổi trẻ (Youth) online newspaper, the river section the students swam in was an area many people had drowned in before.
Colonel Võ Văn Dương, deputy head of the provincial Police Department went to the scene to direct the search and console the victims’ families.
Presenting his heartfelt condolences to the victims’ families yesterday, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc required the provincial People’s Committee to instruct local competent authorities to quickly visit, console and support the families of the dead schoolboys and take measures to resolve the consequences. The move also aims to proactively prevent drowning accidents among students during the summertime.
The PM also called for the Ministry of Education and Training, and People’s Committees of localities nationwide to strengthen the management of students and children, organise safe summer activities, and enhance swimming instruction for students.
Statistics from the Ministry of Health revealed that on average nine children died from drowning every day last year in Việt Nam. Drowning is one of the main causes of child death in Việt Nam. — VNS