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Five dead, dozens missing after dragon boats capsize in China

Sixty people were on two boats rehearsing for a race on the Taohua River.

Five people were killed and dozens more were missing after two dragon boats capsized in southern China, said state broadcaster CCTV.

The boats, carrying 60 people, had been rehearsing for a race in the Taohua River in the city of Guilin when the accident happened, the broadcaster said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the boats to capsize.

Rescuers search for missing boaters on the Taohua River in Guilin (Chinatopix via AP)

Five bodies and two survivors were pulled from the water. Rescuers were searching for an unspecified number of others who remained missing, CCTV said.

China has sought to step up safety surrounding nationwide dragon boat racing during the Duanwu festival, which falls near the summer solstice and commemorates the death of the poet and minister Qu Yuan in the third century BC.

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