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China Ultramarathon Race: 21 Participants Die

2 years agoSun, 23 May 2021 10:02:14 GMT
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China Ultramarathon Race: 21 Participants Die

Twenty-one (21) participants in an ultramarathon in China died after hail, freezing rain and high winds hit runners in the cross-country mountain race.

According to the China Central Television (CCTV), the state broadcaster, one participant in the ultramarathon who had been missing was found at 9:30 am, but “had already lost their vital signs”. CCTV said:

_This suggests that this incident caused 21 deaths in total._

City officials had earlier confirmed 20 deaths and one person missing at a briefing earlier on Sunday.

They said extreme weather hit a high-altitude section of the race held in the Yellow River Stone Forest near Baiyin city in northwestern Gansu province Saturday afternoon.

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Baiyin city mayor Zhang Xuchen said that at around midday, a section of the ultramarathon course, between 20 and 31 kilometres, was “suddenly affected by disastrous weather”. Zhang said:

_In a short period of time, hailstones and ice rain suddenly fell in the local area, and there were strong winds. The temperature sharply dropped._

Shortly after receiving may-day calls from some participants, marathon organisers dispatched a rescue team that managed to save 18 of the 172 participants.

Zhang added that weather conditions worsened around 2 pm prompting authorities to call off the race and send more rescuers.

State news agency Xinhua reported that some of the runners suffered from hypothermia as a result of the weather, and Zhang said earlier that eight people were being treated for minor injuries in hospital and were in a stable condition.

Video footage broadcast on state media showed emergency rescue personnel in combat fatigues carrying flashlights as they climbed through the rocky terrain at night.

More: Pindula News; AFP

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