Nine drown during China Dragon boat race

June 9th, 2008 - 9:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Nanchang (China), June 9 (Xinhua) At least nine people were drowned and two were missing after they fell into a river in China’s eastern province of Jiangxi, officials said Monday. The villagers had come to watch the traditional Dragon boat festival in Tonggubao village in Yugan county Sunday, a provincial government official said.

Witnesses said the villagers slipped into the river as the riverbank was slippery due to rain.

The government has ordered a search for the missing people. Nine bodies have been retrieved from the river.

The festival, also known as “Duanwu”, is organised on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar.

Besides dragon boat races, people also eat “zongzi” - an angular glutinous rice ball wrapped in reeds or bamboo leaves - to mark the day.

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