Seven primary school children drowned while playing by a pit in central China's Henan Province on Thursday, said a spokesman of the local education bureau.
The children, aged 13 and 14, were from Mairen Village, Shangcai County of Zhumadian City. On their way to school in the afternoon, they stopped at a deserted brick kiln and began playing with the water collected in a pit.
Unaware of the depth of the pit, they slipped into the water and all of them were drowned.
"The kiln had been deserted for three or four years. It should have been leveled long ago," said a witness in the village, without telling how deep it was.
The city's education bureau is investigating into the accident. It will screen the potential safety hazards in schools across the whole city, said the spokesman.
(Xinhua News Agency September 28, 2007)