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Eight children die in mass drowning after jumping into river to save friend

ASIA
By Mirror | June 23rd 2020

Rescuers mill around China's Fu River where schoolchildren drowned after they jumped to save their friend. [Image: Mirror]

Eight schoolchildren in China died in a horrific drowning incident after seven of them jumped into a river to save their friend.

The primary school-age pupils were swept to their deaths and the last of their bodies were pulled from the water at around 7 am today.

The dead included seven girls and a boy.

The strong current in China's Fu River saw one of the friends get into trouble before the entire group risked their lives to same them.

Authorities launched a huge search-and-rescue operation after local teachers reported the kids missing.

It is reported that the kids had arranged a playdate on the riverbank in the river near Chongqing in Sichuan province, southwest China.

The results of a preliminary investigation said that the children had been playing on the banks of the river when one pupil fell into the water.

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All remaining seven leapt into the river and tragically drowned as they tried to rescue their friend.

All eight victims attended the local Mixin Town Primary School, officials have confirmed.

The municipal government said it was helping the families arrange funerals, while still investigating the cause of the incident.

It was unclear whether any of the eight victims knew how to swim, while more than 200 rescuers are said to have taken part in the rescue operation.

One of the children fell in the river as they played without supervision near a dam in the village of Tongjia at around 3.30pm on Sunday.

Chilling pictures show rescuers preparing orange rafts as they get ready to continue the search.

The part of the river where the pupils fell was about 50 metres (164 feet) wide, locals told reporters.

Drowning is leading cause of death for children under the age of 14, the World Health Organisation states.

And these deaths have reignited the debate in China about children being taught to swim, as they are in the UK and other countries.

Around 57,000 people drown in china each year, the Chinese Health Ministry states.

It comes after 40 primary school staff and children were injured in knife attack at a primary school in China, allegedly by a security guard.

A local government source revealed the horrific incident occurred in a school in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The outlet has reported Guangxi Cangwu county government authority are currently focusing on treating the wounded students and school employees.

               

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