Multiple fatalities after two dragon boats capsize in China river

Participants attend a dragon boat race in Xuan'en County central China's Hubei Province

At least 11 people died and several more were missing after two dragon boats capsized in the city of Guilin in southern China on Saturday, according to state media reports.

China's state-run Xinhua news agency and other media outlets report that the crewmembers had been rehearsing for a race in the city of Guilin when the accident happened on Saturday afternoon.

Television pictures showed one of the long, narrow boats packed with paddlers going over.

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

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

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

Eight boats and over 200 people were dispatched to the rescue.

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

Races are kept nationwide each season to indicate that the dragon ship festival, that falls on the fifth day of the fifth calendar month of the Chinese lunar calendar, and also the summer solstice.

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