Myanmar refugee teen accidentally drowns outside Kansas City


HILLSDALE, Kan. (AP) – A teenager who recently arrived with his family to the U.S. as refugees from Myanmar has drowned in a lake outside Kansas City.

The Kansas City Star reports that Om Kee Hata drowned Friday while swimming with friends in Hillsdale Lake. Miami County Capt. Mike Talcott says the death was an accident and that the 17-year-old “got tired, went under and didn’t come back up.”

Friends and teachers say Hata arrived in the U.S. last year with his mother and four younger siblings, leaning heavily on soccer and faith. The Christian family fled religious persecution in Myanmar, a predominantly Muslim country.

Hata’s funeral services will be held Saturday. The community has created a GoFundMe page in hopes of raising $20,000 to support his mother and siblings.

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