15 Jul 2010

Russians drown escaping heatwave

9:33 am on 15 July 2010

Dozens of Russians are drowning daily as they head to water to escape a heatwave, an Emergencies Ministry official says.

The official said that, in one day alone, 49 people had drowned, including two children.

Most of those who drowned were drunk, he said, and the children died because adults did not look after them.

Vodka-drinking groups - some with small children - have been seen at lakes and ponds in and around Moscow during the three-week heatwave, which forecasters say will last another week.