17 killed after dragon boats capsize in China

According to local media, eight boats and more than 200 people were sent to the scene for rescue efforts.
According to local media, eight boats and more than 200 people were sent to the scene for rescue efforts. Photo credit: AAP

Seventeen people have been killed after two dragon boats capsized in southern China.

Rowers on board had been practicing for a race in the Taohua River in the city of Guilin in the Guangxi region.

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

It is unclear whether any rowers are still missing.

According to local media, eight boats and more than 200 people were sent to the scene for rescue efforts.

It is not yet known what caused the boats to capsize, but the practice had been organised without notifying police, and two of the practice's organisers have been detained as a result.

Races are held to mark the annual summer solstice dragon boat festival.

The festival honours ancient poet Qu Yuan who, according to legend, drowned himself to protest being falsely accused of treason.

Newshub.