Lebanon: Four Syrian refugee children drown to death in old well

Lebanon: Four Syrian refugee children drown to death in old well
2 min read
04 October, 2022
A fifth child was rescued by Lebanese Civil Defense ambulance teams. He is the brother of three of the deceased.
Around 1.5 million Syrian refugees live in Lebanon [Malcolm P Chapman/Getty-file photo]

Four Syrian refugee children drowned to death in Lebanon in an old well on Monday.

They were aged from 10 to 14, according to Lebanon's official National News Agency.

A fifth child was rescued by Lebanese Civil Defence ambulance teams in the Wede Daroun area. He is the brother of three of the deceased.

"The investigation is still ongoing to determine the circumstances of the tragic incident," Nizar Al-Shamali, mayor of the local municipality, told The New Arab's Arabic sister service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

"The area where the incident occurred is considered a very dangerous and rugged area, and there are ancient ruins."

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Al-Shamali said the well is over a century old and is around five metres deep.

The dead children are Diaa Al-Atou, plus the siblings Uday, Louay and Wael Matar, he said.

The rescued child was Afif Matar, a brother of the other Matar children, according to Al-Shamali.

The municipal mayor gave the children's ages as "ranging between seven and ten years old", in contrast to the report from Lebanon's National News Agency.

Daroun town mayor Antoine Saqr said the children "started to play on [the well's] roof, and it collapsed with them".

He said "it had been covered over for many years and therefore was no longer sturdy".