‘One Of Them Slipped … Others Followed’: 11 Kids Drown In River While Holding Hands

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John Fleming Contributor
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Eleven students from Indonesia’s West Java Province drowned while holding hands, as ten other children were rescued during their school trip to clean up a river, The Associated Press (AP) reported Saturday.

During the river cleanup Friday, 21 of the 150 students from a local Islamic school fell into the water, local officials stated, according to The AP. Deden Ridwansyah, chief of the Bandung Search and Rescue Office, reportedly said the students who died were “holding each others’ hand” in the water.

“The weather was good and there was no flash flood. Those children who drowned were holding each others’ hands. One of them slipped and the others followed,” Ridwansyah said, according to The AP.

Using life rafts, rescue teams managed to find all victims involved, and the ten students who survived were transported to a local hospital, The AP reported. (RELATED: Submarine With 53 People On Board Went Missing Out Of Nowhere, Indonesian Military Says)

The students, who were allegedly not wearing life jackets or flotation devices, were trying to cross the river, which is reportedly used by locals for rafting, The AP noted. According to DW, some reports claim the students were aged between 12 and 15 years old. Some teachers also sustained injuries, the DW reported.

Indonesia is known for its landslides and flash floods, which are triggered by heavy, intense rainfall. A flash flood killed at least 6 students in the country in February of 2020, The AP reported. In April, 73 people died in Indonesia after a cyclone brought torrential rains and lethal mudslides.