21 Runners Die During Ultramarathon in China When Extreme Weather Hits
There had been no reports of dangerous weather on the day of the race, according to one of the race organizers, Beijing News, a paper owned by the Beijing government, reported.
An ultramarathon in northwestern China turned deadly when extreme weather hit, killing 21 runners during Saturday's face. Hail, freezing rain and gale force winds swept the region of northwestern China during the race, according to state media, the Associated Press reported.
More than 700 rescuers came to the aid of the runners as they battled freezing temperatures. Rescuers wearing winter jackets in the pitch-blackness of the night used flashlights along the steep hills and narrow paths to look for victims before the search ended Sunday, CBS News reported.
A total of 151 people were saved, but 21 people died including well-known runner Liang Jing, who had won a 100-kilometer race in Ningbo.
The runners were racing on an extremely narrow mountain path at an altitude that reached between 6,500 and 9,800 feet. The 100-kilometer, or 60-mile, race was held at the Yellow River Stone Forest tourist site in Baiyin city in Gansu province, the AP reported.
There had been no reports of dangerous weather on the day of the race, according to one of the race organizers, reported Beijing News, a paper owned by the Beijing city government.
However, Baiyin city's local branch of the National Early Warning Information Center had warned for the past three days of hail and strong winds, the AP reported.
The unexpected storm caught many runners by surprise. Many were unprepared for the elements and were wearing short-sleeved tops.
“We express deep condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims and the injured,” the mayor said.
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