Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Eight children drown in southwest China after playing near river, prompting calls for water awareness lessons

CHONGQING (China) — The bodies of eight primary school students have been retrieved by rescuers after they drowned in a river in southwest China, state news agency Xinhua reported on Monday (June 22).

Rescuers attempt to find eight primary school students who fell into the Fu River in Chongqing. The bodies of all eight pupils were retrieved.

Rescuers attempt to find eight primary school students who fell into the Fu River in Chongqing. The bodies of all eight pupils were retrieved.

CHONGQING (China) — The bodies of eight primary school students have been retrieved by rescuers after they drowned in a river in southwest China, state news agency Xinhua reported on Monday (June 22).

The students fell into a river in the village of Tongjia, in the Tongnan district of Chongqing, at around 3.30pm on Sunday, the district’s publicity department said.

The victims were pupils at a local primary school who were playing by the Fu River when one of them fell in. The other seven tried to save the first student and all fell in, an early government report said.

The local government promptly sent a rescue team. A video obtained by the Chutian Metro Daily showed rescuers searching the riverbanks and preparing rafts while villagers watched.

Villagers told the newspaper that the part of the river where the children fell was about 50 metres wide. Most of the students who fell in were girls. Several bodies were retrieved by Sunday night.

An investigation was under way, local authorities said. Meanwhile, the families of the students were being contacted.

The incident has reignited public discussion about how to prevent children from drowning, particularly in summer. Drownings occur in rivers and ponds across China every year.

In August, in three Chinese cities, 15 children drowned within a week, all bathing or playing near bodies of water.

There have been many public appeals for better safety education in schools and for the danger of unregulated bodies of water to be highlighted. There have also been calls for all children to be taught basic first aid.

In 2012, a junior school in Yichang, in central Hubei province, started mandatory swimming lessons for all students after five children in the city drowned playing by the Yangtze River. The school said that instead of banning children from going near water, they would teach them about its dangers and how to keep themselves safe.

Rescue and first aid techniques were also lacking in school education in China, others said. One person commented on microblogging site Weibo that instead of trying to rescue their friend, the seven students should have sought help from adults.

Some also claimed there were inadequate warnings and supervision of lakes and rivers in the country.

“There are warning signs close to rivers and ponds but there are no high fences or other security precautions, such as having supervisors close by,” one commenter said on Weibo. SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

Related topics

drowning China

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.