CHINA / SOCIETY
Update 2: 21 marathoners die in extreme weather in cross-country race in Northwest China
Published: May 23, 2021 07:11 AM Updated: May 23, 2021 08:46 AM
Rescuers search for missing people at the Yellow River Stone Forest tourist site in Jingtai County of Baiyin City, northwest China's Gansu Province, May 23, 2021(Photo: Xinhua)

Rescuers search for missing people at the Yellow River Stone Forest tourist site in Jingtai County of Baiyin City, northwest China's Gansu Province, May 23, 2021(Photo: Xinhua)



A total of 21 people were confirmed dead on Sunday due to extreme weather during a 100 km cross-country mountain race held in Northwest China's Gansu Province.

A sudden change in weather patterns resulted in hail storms, freezing rain and gale winds during the race, which started at about 13:00 pm on Saturday in the Yellow River Stone Forest tourist site in Jingtai county, Baiyin, northwest China's Gansu Province, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Sunday.

The extremely cold weather caused discomfort and hypothermia among marathoners, resulting in some going missing, and the race was suspended, as local authorities immediately organized multiple rescue forces to search them.

More than 700 people have been dispatched for the rescue, and a rescue command center was set up, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday.

Of all 172 race participants, 151 have been confirmed safe with eight sent to the hospital but in stable condition, while 21 were found dead, the People's Daily reported on Sunday.

Rescue work was challenging due to complicated terrain, a further decrease in temperature at night and poor communications signals in the mountains. 

CCTV quoted rescuers as saying that the low temperature was the biggest threat faced by participants as they wore thin clothes, and the temperature in the mountain is close to 0 C.

The local government has formed  a team for an in-depth investigation on the cause of incident, the People's Daily reported.

Global Times


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