Seventeen people dead after 2 dragon boats overturn in China

Rescuers search for missing boaters on the Taohua River in Guilin

Seventeen people were killed Saturday after two dragon boats capsized in southern China, state-run Xinhua news agency said.

The accident occurred when two dragon boats, 18 meters long with a capacity of 30 passengers each, overturned during a practice session on Taohuajiang River in Guilin, the regional capital.

Another dragon boat arrived at the scene and it too capsized, the pictures showed.

The CCTV footage shows that the sudden powerful current of the river is responsible for the incident.

Most of those who went into the river were reportedly not wearing life jackets. It was not immediately clear what caused the boats to capsize.

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The fire department said on its official account on the social media site Sina Weibo that search efforts ended late Saturday and 17 people had been confirmed dead.

The practice session had been organised without notifying police, and two organisers were detained, they say.

The Xinhua News Agency reported, nearly eight boats and over 200 people were deployed for the rescue.

Dragon boat racing is popular in various parts of Asia, and the Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional holiday in China, when races are held nationwide.

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