17 die after dragon boats capsize in southern China

  • 17 die after dragon boats capsize in southern China

17 die after dragon boats capsize in southern China

A smartphone video shown on Chinese television showed the boats capsizing as they navigated artificial rapids.

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 on Saturday, also full of paddlers, and it too capsized, the pictures showed.

Sixty people fell into the water when the boats went over, with just over 40 being pulled out of the water alive.

The accident happened where two flows of the river converge, causing a powerful current, the CCTV broadcaster said.

The media reported that the paddlers in the dragon boat were seen without a life jacket.

According to local authorities, several people were missing.

Two organizers of the practice, from the village of Dunmu, were detained, Xinhua said.

The dragon boat festival, which features races of ornate boats and drummers, is a popular annual event in China.

The festival pays tribute into the ancient poet Qu Yuan who drowned himself in protest against now being falsely accused of treason.