Investigators vow thorough probe of Gansu marathon accident, as wounded discharged from hospital and compensation agreement reached
Published: May 25, 2021 06:33 PM
Rescue team search for victims of the deadly marathon in Baiyin, Gansu. Photo: Xinhua

Rescue team search for victims of the deadly marathon in Baiyin, Gansu. Photo: Xinhua


Seven of the eight runners injured in the Gansu marathon accident have been released from hospital and more than half of the victims' families have reached compensation agreements with the accident's working group, local authorities said on Tuesday. A joint investigation team has arrived at the scene and detailed investigation results will be published. 

In one of the deadliest tragedies in China's marathon competition history, which took 21 lives in Northwest China's Gansu Province on Saturday, a total of eight runners were injured. As of Tuesday afternoon, seven athletes with minor injuries have been released from the hospital. One other athlete who was seriously injured is currently in stable condition and continues to be treated.

More than half of the 21 victims' families have signed or reached agreements with the working group as of Tuesday, and the rest are being coordinated. The compensation comes from the organizers, contractors and local government, said Zhang Xuchen, mayor of Baiyin, at the news conference. 

On Monday, the provincial government of Gansu set up a joint investigation team, consisting of emergency management, discipline inspection committee, procuratorate, public security, sports, meteorology and other departments. Marathon and meteorological experts from the National Sports Administration and the National Meteorological Bureau were also invited to participate in the investigation. 

The team has been officially stationed in Baiyin city and Jingtai county for the investigation.

According to officials, the main task of the team is to identify the direct and indirect causes of the tragedy and resulting damage. The team is expected to accurately identify the nature of the incident, identify the responsibility of organizers, contractors, operators and related departments, units and personnel and put forward specific measures to learn lessons from the tragic accident.

Legal experts told the Global Times that the event's organizers, game hosts and venue operators may be subject to civil or even criminal penalties, depending on whether the investigation panel determines that the sudden extreme weather constituted force majeure.

The joint investigation team will publish the results of the investigation under the supervision of the media and society. The relevant parties will be held accountable, officials said. 

Global Times