Elementary school boy drowns in Hija River

A worried parent called Kadena Police on July 12th that a 1st grade elementary school student Kazuki Tsuhako had not returned home by 8 p.m.  The boy lived in the Yara district of Kadena Town.

Police officers, fire fighters and teachers went to look for him in the area, and a fire fighter eventually found the boy about 1.5 m deep in Hija River in the Yara Castle Park area. He was taken to a hospital in cardiopulmonary arrest, but the resuscitation effort failed and he was pronounced dead about one hour later.

According to Kadena Police, Kazuki had been playing with his friend in the park until dusk, but went missing after that, and investigators suspected from the beginning that he might have fallen into the river.

The accident took place at the upper part of the Hija River, and there is a walking path beside the river, but no fence. The river at the point is about 10 meters wide, and there was no flooding at the time.

The Hija River Kappa Festival, which was scheduled for the 14th was cancelled because of the accident.