Severe weather kills 21 in China’s Ultramarathon

Rescue workers carry equipment on a stretcher to search for injured runners. STR / AFPHeight Dutch / AFP photo

The victims participated in a 100 km mountain race, Reports The official Xinhua News Agency Sunday. Chinese authorities said that 172 participants encountered cold, frost and strong winds at high altitudes, causing the temperature to drop suddenly.

Initially, there was talk of at least sixteen people being killed and five missing, later four were found missing. Early Sunday morning, local authorities announced the location of the last runner. As it turns out, he’s dead.

Xinhua wrote that severe weather hit the area during the race, which was held in a nature reserve near Baiyin Town in the northwestern Gansu Province. The rescue operation has started and the race is stopped. About 700 rescue workers searched for the missing for hours.

Poorest region

Around 3 a.m. (local time), 151 participants were said to be safe, and eventually eight of them were hospitalized with injuries.

Gansu Province is one of the poorest regions in China, bordering Xinjiang and Mongolia. This county has been hit by fatal earthquakes, floods and landslides several times in the past.

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