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Eight middle schoolers drown in river in northern Vietnam

Friday, March 22, 2019, 14:15 GMT+7
Eight middle schoolers drown in river in northern Vietnam
People comfort the father of one of the victims near the Da River in Hoa Binh Province, northern Vietnam, March 21, 2019. Photo: Hai Tran / Tuoi Tre

Eight children drowned on Thursday while swimming in a river in Hoa Binh Province, directly southwest of Hanoi.

Ten middle school students from the same village in Hoa Binh were enjoying themselves on the bank of the Da River before entering the water for a swim in the afternoon, police said.

“I saw the children playing for a while but then I didn’t see them anymore,” an eyewitness said.

“I thought something bad had happened so I ran down but only saw their shoes still on the riverbank.”

Eight of the children’s bodies were found an hour and a half later.

Some of the victims’ parents collapsed in tears when they saw their children’s bodies being carried on shore.

A man falls after finding out his child was a victim, March 21, 2019. Photo: Manh Hung / Tuoi Tre

A man falls after finding out his child was a victim, March 21, 2019. Photo: Manh Hung / Tuoi Tre

An official told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the students went to school in the morning and had no classes in the afternoon.

The two survivors were too overcome with fear to talk about the event, the official added.

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Ministry Vu Duc Dam extended his condolences to the bereaved families the same day.

He urged authorities nationwide to step up their efforts to prevent future child drownings.

Vietnam recorded around 2,000 child drownings in 2018, according to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs.

Currently, swimming is not a compulsory subject in many schools in the Southeast Asian country.

The scene where eight children drowned in Hoa Binh Province, northern Vietnam, March 21, 2019. Video: Hai Tran / Tuoi Tre

Rescue workers board boats to search for the eight children who drowned in the Daw River in Hoa Binh Province, northern Vietnam, March 21, 2019. Photo: Dam Quang / Tuoi Tre

Rescue workers board boats to search for eight children who drowned in the Da River in Hoa Binh Province, northern Vietnam, March 21, 2019. Photo: Dam Quang / Tuoi Tre

People search for children who have gone missing during a swim in the Da River in Hoa Binh Province, northern Vietnam, March 21, 2019. Photo: Hai Tran / Tuoi Tre

People search for the children who drowned during a swim in the Da River in Hoa Binh Province, northern Vietnam, March 21, 2019. Photo: Hai Tran / Tuoi Tre

Vehicles are parked near a river where eight children drowned in Hoa Binh Province, northern Vietnam, March 21, 2019. Photo: Hai Tran / Tuoi Tre

Vehicles are parked near a river where eight children drowned in Hoa Binh Province, northern Vietnam, March 21, 2019. Photo: Hai Tran / Tuoi Tre

Rescue worker ready themselves to find eight missing children at a river in Hoa Binh Province, northern Vietnam, March 21, 2019. Photo: Hai Tran / Tuoi Tre

Rescue worker ready themselves to find eight missing children in a river in Hoa Binh Province, northern Vietnam, March 21, 2019. Photo: Hai Tran / Tuoi Tre

Police work at the scene where eight children were last seen before going missing in a river in Hoa Binh Province, northern Vietnam, March 21, 2019. Photo: Hai Tran / Tuoi Tre

Police work at the scene where eight children drowned in a river in Hoa Binh Province, northern Vietnam, March 21, 2019. Photo: Hai Tran / Tuoi Tre

People gather around the ambulance that took away the drowned children near a river in Hoa Binh Province, northern Vietnam, March 21, 2019. Photo: Hai Tran / Tuoi Tre

People gather around the ambulance that took away the drowned children near a river in Hoa Binh Province, northern Vietnam, March 21, 2019. Photo: Hai Tran / Tuoi Tre

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