Five students in a Hunan village have drowned at a reservoir on Thursday, in a region hit hard by the unusual heatwave that has gripped China for nearly a month, Xinhua reported.
Local villagers salvaged the bodies of the five teenagers from the Chetian reservoir in Wentang village, Xinhua county, on Thursday afternoon, the report said .
According to Xinhua, the students were in middle school and had attended classes on the day they drowned. Their schoolbags and clothes were seen on the shore in several photos on the news agency's website.
A villager who spotted the teenagers in the water said she had warned them that swimming was prohibited in the area due to safety concerns. She later called for help when she found them missing.
Local police said they were still investigating the tragedy.
Xiinhua county, where the drownings occurred, has been suffering from a nearly month-long heatwave and drought which has beset the areas surrounding the lower reach of Yangtze River.
The county authority raised its anti-drought alert last week and initiated a contingency plan to respond to the nearly 80,000 residents threatened by water supply shortages, people.com.cn reported .
Meanwhile Hunan province reported  a third street sweeper had died from heatstroke, as the outdoor workers are continuously exposed to blazing sunlight in long working hours.