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Thu 5 Jul 2018 11:03 AM

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Two Saudi students drowned in US while trying to save children

Two Saudi Arabian college students who were swept away by the current in the Chicopee River in Wilbraham, Massachusetts

Two Saudi students drowned in US while trying to save children

The two Saudi Arabian college students who were swept away by the current in the Chicopee River in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, US, last week have been identified, authorities said.

Theeb Alyami, 27, and Jaser Daham Alrakah, 25, apparently drowned last Friday, according to a statement from the Hampden district attorney’s office.

The bodies of the Saudi students, who were both attending colleges in the area, were recovered after extensive search.

Witnesses told authorities that the students had attempted to save two small children who had gone into the water and began to have difficulty with the current.

The brother of one of the Saudi victims told the Saudi newspaper Sabaq: “On Friday my brother and his cousin were on a picnic next to the river when they saw a mother in distress trying to save her children, who now because of my brother and cousin are alive and have already been discharged from the hospital.”

Alrakah was an engineering student at Western New England University. Alyami studied at the University of Hartford in a civil engineering programme.

University of Hartford President Greg S. Woodward said in a statement to the campus: "A contributing member of our vibrant community, [Theeb Alyami] was attending UHart after earning sponsorship of his educational experience by the Cultural Mission of Saudi Arabia. In the days ahead, we will work with Theeb’s family to determine the most appropriate way to honour his memory."