Three students of Chakaria Grammar School in Chakaria upazila of Cox's Bazar drowned and two others remained missing after swimming in the Matamuhuri river under Matamuhuri Bridge on the Cox's Bazar-Chittagong highway yesterday afternoon.
According to the headmaster of the school, Rafiqul Islam, the students, divided into two groups, were playing a friendly football match on the char of the river at around 4:00pm.
After the game was over, some of the students went into the river to cool off with a swim during which five of them went missing, he said.
After the upazila administration and the fire brigade were notified, the brigade and locals began rescue efforts with the assistance of the administration at around 5:00pm, said Bakhtiar Uddin Chowdhury, officer-in-charge of Chakaria Police station.
The boys are Sayeed Jawad Orbih, Punnah Bhattacharya, Farhan Bin Shawkat and Aminul Islam Emshad of class-X, and Emshad's younger brother Aftab Hossain Mehrab, an eighth grader.
Three dead bodies have been recovered by a team of divers, the OC said. They have been identified as Emshad, Mehrab, and Farhan.
The rescue mission was still underway till 10:00pm last night as they were trying to find the other two boys, he added.