Gansu [China], May 23 (ANI): At least 21 people have been killed after hail, freezing rain and high winds struck during an ultramarathon in China's northwestern Gansu province.
According to South China Morning Post (SCMP) in one of the deadliest incidents in Chinese sporting history, at least 21 competitors in a 100 km mountain ultramarathon died after being caught in freezing weather, as per media reports on Sunday.
According to the Xinhua news agency, extreme weather hit the area during the race which was held on Saturday morning.
So far, 151 participants have been confirmed to be safe, of which five with injuries are being treated in the hospital. As many as 172 people took part in the race.
Among the deceased were Liang Jing and Huang Guanjun, two of the country's best long-distance runners.
Liang won China's Ultra Gobi in 2018 and came second in the Hong Kong 100 ultra trail race in 2019. Huang was the marathon champion in the 2019 National Paralympic Games' hearing impaired section.
Zhang Xuchen, mayor of Baiyin, Gansu province, where the tragedy occurred, apologised to victims' families on Sunday, reported SCMP.
Media reports said that the race has been halted and local governments initiated an emergency response to search for the missing people.
The temperature dropped during the night due to the location's complex topography, making the rescue difficult. (ANI)