Chinese state broadcaster CCTV says five people have died and others are missing after two dragon boats capsized in southern China, causing 60 people to fall into the water.

CCTV reported that the boats had been rehearsing for a race on Saturday in the Taohua River in the city of Guilin when the accident happened. It was not immediately clear what caused the boats to capsize.

Five bodies and two survivors were pulled from the water. CCTV says rescuers have been searching for an unspecified number of others who remained missing.

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