Teacher taken in as schoolboy drowns in swimming class

By Thanh Hang, Pham Du   August 23, 2023 | 07:01 pm PT
Teacher taken in as schoolboy drowns in swimming class
The indoor swimming pool where a ninth-grader of an international school drowns in Hanoi on Aug. 22, 2023. Photo courtesy of the school
A Hanoi PE teacher has been arrested for failing to exercise care during a swimming class and causing the drowning death of a ninth grader.

Tran Lam Thang, 24, is under investigation for "lacking responsibility and causing serious consequences," the Hanoi police said Wednesday.

Thang, a swimming teacher at an international school in Ha Dong District, was on Tuesday in charge of teaching 27 students from a class from 1:20 p.m. to 2 p.m.

After a 10-minute warmup he let 16 of them play in the schoolyard and took the remaining 11 to the indoor pool.

Some of the students later said he did not give them any safety instructions before letting them enter the pool.

He allowed them to get into the 30-m pool and reportedly sat in a corner with his phone the entire duration of the class.

The pool has two depths, 1.2 m and 1.55 m, separated by a line of buoys.

Thang failed to notice that one of the boys did not swim but walked in the water.

He crossed the buoy line and entered the deeper portion without anyone noticing it.

As security camera footage shows he struggled for around three minutes before drowning.

After leaving the students to their own devices for 20 minutes, Thang dismissed the class at 2 p.m.

He still had no idea that a boy had drowned.

It was at 2:06 p.m. when an employee came to clean the pool that he was found.

He was rushed to the Ha Dong District General Hospital but doctors declared him dead on arrival.

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