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21 die in extreme weather in China ultramarathon

China Cross Country Race Deaths
Posted at 11:09 AM, May 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 11:31:59-04

BEIJING — Chinese state media says 21 people have died while running a mountain cross-country ultramarathon in the country's northwest after hail, freezing rain and gale-force winds hit the high-altitude race.

After an all-night rescue operation in freezing temperatures, 151 of the 172 participants were confirmed safe.

Twenty-one people died, the official Xinhua News Agency said Sunday.

One runner who quit Saturday's race said other runners weren't dressed for winter-like conditions, many wearing short-sleeved tops.

A woman who worked for the race organizer said there were no predictions of extreme weather for the day of the race. However, the local branch of the National Early Warning Information Center warned for the past three days of hail and strong winds.