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Students Participating in a River Cleanup Drown

Eleven teens were killed; none were wearing floatation devices
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2021 11:33 AM CDT
Students Participating in a River Cleanup Drown
Rescuers search for victims of drowning in a river in Ciamis, West Java, Indonesia, Friday. Eleven students drowned during a school outing for a river cleanup on Friday evening in Indonesia's West Java Province.   (AP Photo/Yopi Andrias)

(Newser) – A student outing to clean up a river in Indonesia turned tragic Friday. Of the 150 kids picking up debris along the banks of the Cileueur River, 21 were swept away. Ten were rescued but 11 were found later, drowned. Flash floods are common in the rainy season, but that doesn’t start until November, and the weather was good that day, Al Jazeera reports. The kids, between 13 and 15 years old, were holding hands when they were swept away. “One of them slipped and the others followed," Deden Ridwansyah of the Bandung Search and Rescue said.

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Rescuers rushed to the scene with big orange rafts and managed to find and save 10 kids, who went to a nearby hospital, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports. Some teachers were injured in the search for the kids, too. The victims were found downstream in the river in Indonesia’s West Java province. None of them were wearing floatation devices, and may have been trying to cross the river. The river is a popular one for rafting and tubing, but those activities are banned during the rainy season when the water levels rise. A flash flood killed 10 people and injured about two dozen last February, per Al Jazeera. (Read more child death stories.)

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