China netizens grieve after seven members of the same family drown in reservoir

BEIJING (AFP) - Chinese netizens expressed grief on Tuesday after seven members of the same family drowned when a teenage girl fell into a reservoir and relatives frantically tried to save her.

The 17-year-old fell into the water in Shantou, in the southern province of Guangdong, when she was washing her hands, a statement from the local emergency services said. As well as the teenager, those who died included her parents, younger brother and younger sister, the statement said.

"Such a pity," one netizen wrote on Tuesday on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter.

"This is so tragic," another added, following Sunday's accident.

Pictures posted online showed the bodies of five people laid out alongside each other on a huge sheet of blue plastic.

Images also showed about 40 men standing with sticks and life-saving rings around the reservoir, which had a sloping concrete embankment.

The family had visited the reservoir after honouring deceased relatives during China's traditional tomb-sweeping holiday, it added.