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Eight young schoolgirls drown in Vietnam lake

HANOI, VIETNAM (BNO NEWS) -- Seven young schoolgirls drowned while swimming in a lake on the outskirts of the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on early Wednesday afternoon, a local newspaper reported on Thursday. An eighth schoolgirl drowned in an attempt to rescue her friends.

The incident happened on early Wednesday afternoon when eight high school students between the ages of 12 and 13 went for a swim in Tuy Lai Lake in the district of My Duc, which is located on the outskirts of Hanoi. The girls had gone swimming there because they had a day off from school.

Three children who decided not to go for the swim later received a phone call from one of the girls, saying the seven other girls were in the water and needed help. The three girls, also aged 12 and 13, quickly arrived at the lake and all jumped into the water in an effort to save their friends.

But none of the three girls could swim, causing one of them to drown, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reported. The two other girls were rescued by local residents, but the original group of seven girls did not survive. Their shoes and sandals were found floating in the lake on Thursday morning, the report said.

Drowning is one of the leading causes of child deaths in Vietnam. According to the country's Department for Children Care and Protection, about 3,000 children on average die of drowning every year. Efforts to introduce swimming lessons in schools have been hampered by a lack of funding and facilities.

(Copyright 2012 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info: sales@bnonews.com.)

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