Students drown during river cleanup in Indonesia’s West Java | Environmental news

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About 150 students, ages 13 to 15, participated in a river cleanup when 21 of them slipped into the water.

Eleven students drowned and ten others were rescued during a school trip for a river cleanup in the Indonesian province of West Java.

Local officials said on Saturday that 150 students, aged 13 to 15, took part in the clean-up along the River Cileueur when 21 of them slipped into the water.

“The weather was fine and there was no flash flood,” said Deden Ridwansyah, head of the Bandung Search and Rescue Office. “The children who drowned held each other’s hands. One of them slipped and the others followed. ”

Residents and a rescue team managed to rescue 10 of the students, who were sent to a nearby hospital.

All victims were found and the search ended on Friday night.

Relatives of students who drowned while participating in a hiking activity for a group of scouts along the river Cileuleur leave a morgue at a regional hospital in Ciamis on Friday morning [Darra /AFP]

The students apparently did not have portable devices.

Some reports said they were trying to cross the river, which is popular for rafting and inner tubing, when they fell.

Rescuers used large orange inflatable rafts to search for victims.

Rainfall often causes landslides and floods in Indonesia, where millions of people live in mountainous areas or near floods.

River hiking is prohibited for children and teenagers during the rainy season, which begins in late November.

In February last year, 10 scouts died after being swept away by a flood that also left nearly two dozen injured.

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