At least 17 people have lost their lives to separate drowning incidents while celebrating the Egyptian national holiday, Sham El Neseem, which was observed on Monday.
In the governorate of Qaliubiya alone, six people died after stepping into the Nile River in different parts of the governorate. They did not know how to swim and drowned after being swept by currents, state-run MENA reported.
In Upper Egypt’s Sohag governorate, another six people died in three unrelated incidents after stepping into the Nile to bathe, state-run MENA reported. The victims were also swept by currents and as of Monday night, search and rescue teams were engaged in efforts to recover the bodies.
In the Red Sea Governorate, three people drowned off the coast of Safaga, while four others from a single family were rescued and treated. The three who died were aged 13, 17 and 27, state-run television reported.
Another two people died in the governorate of Beni Suef, both of whom were teenage students, aged 16 and 17.
Sham El Neseem marks the beginning of spring in Egypt. People celebrate it in many different ways, including visiting public parks and cruising the Nile on small boats.