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5 boys drown in Iloilo river

The victims – Stephen Lopez, 14, and his brother John Carlo, 16; Roger Derutas, 15, and his sibling Voltaire, 16, and Ken Segura, 16 – were declared dead on arrival at the Dumangas District Hospital, according to Chief Inspector Rene Obregon, town police chief . File

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — Five teenage boys drowned as they were swimming in a river in Dumangas, Iloilo yesterday morning.

The victims – Stephen Lopez, 14, and his brother John Carlo, 16; Roger Derutas, 15, and his sibling Voltaire, 16, and Ken Segura, 16 – were declared dead on arrival at the Dumangas District Hospital, according to Chief Inspector Rene Obregon, town police chief .

Reports said the boys and their friends Toto, 13, and Francis Noque, 23, were swimming in Barangay Bacay when they were swept away by the current at around 10:15 a.m.

Noque and Toto managed to swim toward the shore.

Noque’s uncle Francisco said he tried to rescue the boys, but the current prevented him from getting near them.

Responding members of a local search and rescue team found two of the boys at around 10:45 a.m. Several minutes later, they retrieved two more bodies.

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“Voltaire was the last to be found at around 1:30 p.m. near the area where they drowned,” Obregon said.

He said the area where the boys drowned was about 10-foot deep.

“Residents have been avoiding swimming in the area due to strong water current,” he added.

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