May 23, 2021 - World

Extreme weather kills 21 during ultramarathon in China

A line of emergency responders walk up a hiking trail at night

Rescuers search for missing people at the Yellow River Stone Forest in northwest China's Gansu Province on May 23. Photo: Xinhua via Getty Images

Nearly two dozen ultramarathon runners died after hail, freezing wind and rain unexpectedly struck a race in northwest China this weekend, the New York Times reports.

Driving the news: Two of China's top ultrarunners were among those who died after enduring the extreme conditions during the 62-mile Huanghe Shilin Mountain Marathon. Eight of the participants ended up hospitalized and 151 were safely rescued, officials said.

  • The deaths are being investigated by the Gansu Province government following outrage in China and accusations that local officials were unprepared to host the event, the Times reports.
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