17 killed as dragon boats capsize in China
Published: 10:18 AM, 22 April 2018
Rescuers search for missing boaters on the Taohua River
At least 17 people were killed after two dragon boats capsized in southern China on Saturday.
Citing authorities, state-run news agency Xinhua said, rowers on board the two long, narrow kayak-like boats were practising for a race in Taohua River in the city of Guilin when the accident occurred Saturday afternoon, tipping some 60 people into the water.
Around 40 people were pulled out of the water alive with rescue work ending at night. 17 people had been confirmed dead.
There were no details on whether people were still missing in the latest report. Xinhua said eight boats and over 200 people had been deployed to the rescue.
It was not immediately clear what caused the boats to capsize.
Authorities in Guilin said villagers had organised a practice session without notifying police, and that two organisers were detained.
Races are held nationwide every year to mark the dragon boat festival, which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, or the summer solstice.
The festival pays tribute to the ancient poet Qu Yuan who, legend has it, drowned himself in protest against being falsely accused of treason.
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