China is launching a water safety campaign before the upcoming summer break, after 16 students drowned in three separate incidents on Saturday.
A child drowned in Wulihe Park, Shenyang of Liaoning Province, on June 1. [news.liao1.com]
The Ministry of Education issued a notice online yesterday, demanding all provinces and cities across the country launch inspections on rivers and ponds to prevent drowning.
The ministry also ordered each school to issue a letter to parents, urging them to strengthen supervision over their children during holidays and weekends.
"It's heartbreaking that 16 students died on the very same day," the notice said.
Most of the victims were primary or middle school boys, the notice said.
Seven middle school students drowned while swimming in the Huihe River in Laiwu City of east China's Shandong Province.
In Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang province, four students drowned in the Songhua River. One girl fell into the river at Gaojia Village and five classmates fell in trying to rescue her. Villagers could only save two of them.
In the third case, five primary school students drowned when swimming in a river in Shaoyang in central China's Hunan Province.
In Shanghai, drowning is the top cause of accidental death among students. Twenty-seven students drowned last year in the city, 25 of them while playing or bathing in rivers or ponds.