China dragon boat accident leaves 17 dead

Rescuers search for missing victims in the Peach Blossom River after two dragon boats sank in Guilin, Guangxi Province, China, on 21 April 2018 Image copyright EPA
Image caption The rescue effort went on into the night

Seventeen people have died in a dragon boat accident in southern China thought to have been caused by strong current.

One of the long, narrow boats packed with paddlers overturned on Saturday and another arriving at the scene also capsized, TV pictures showed.

In total, almost 60 people were tipped into the water, on a stretch of a river in the city of Guilin.

A rescue effort went on into the night with 40 survivors being pulled out.

Some 200 rescuers were sent to help, the Xinhua news agency reports.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Dragon boat racing is popular throughout Asia

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

Most of those who went into the river were not wearing life jackets, according to media reports.

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

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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