21 ultramarathon runners killed by extreme weather in China

By Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer

May. 24, 2021 – Copied

Of 172 runners participating in an ultramarathon through northwest China on Saturday, 21 were killed when severe weather swept through the area.

Freezing rain, hail, and high winds killed 21 ultramarathon runners, including two of China’s elite marathon athletes, during a 62-mile cross-country mountain race in northwest China, local officials reported on Sunday.

“A front moved through the area and that could have caused those strong winds and hail to happen,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Robert Richards said.

The extreme weather struck Saturday afternoon in a high-altitude section of the race held in the Yellow River Stone Forest in northwest Gansu province, Yahoo reported.

“In a short period of time, hailstones and ice rain suddenly fell in the local area, and there were strong winds. The temperature sharply dropped,” Baiyin City Mayor Zhang Xuchen said.

China Xinhua News @XHNews · May 23 China state-affiliated media The death toll has risen to 21 after extreme weather hit a 100-km cross-country mountain marathon race in northwest China’s Gansu http://xhtxs.cn/fk2

There were a total of 172 participants in the race, the other 151 have been rescued and are now safe, according to official news agency Xinhua.

Some of the runners suffered from hypothermia, and Zhang said earlier that eight people were being treated for minor injuries and were in stable condition, Xinhua reported.

“My whole body was soaked through, including my shoes and socks. I couldn’t stand up straight because of the wind, I was very worried I’d be blown over. The cold became more and more unbearable,” one survivor was quoted in local media.

Marathon organizers dispatched a massive rescue team with more than 1,200 rescuers assisted by thermal-imaging drones, radar detectors and demolition equipment after receiving messages for help from the participants, according to Reuters.

At around 2 p.m. local time, weather conditions worsened and the race was called off, Zhang said.

The deaths have sparked public outrage over the lack of contingency planning.

“Why didn’t the government read the weather forecast and do a risk assessment?” one commentator wrote. “This is totally a manmade calamity. Even if the weather is unexpected, where were the contingency plans?”

Baiyin officials bowed and apologized at a news briefing saying they were saddened by the tragic deaths of the runners and that they were to be blamed, Reuters reported.

“As the event’s organizer, we feel a deep sense of guilt and self-blame, express our deep mourning for the victims and deep condolences to their families and the injured runners,” Zhang said.

“The weather appears to be dry for the next few days there,” Richards said.

Related: Drone gives stunning bird’s-eye view of erupting volcano It’s been 10 years since the deadly Joplin tornado Extreme weather leaves city looking like winter wonderland on 80-degree day

Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier, Spectrum, FuboTV, Philo, and Verizon Fios.

Leave a Reply

Please Support The Montserrat Reporter

This is bottom line for us! Unless we receive your support, our effort will not be able to continue. Whatever and however you can, please support The Montserrat Reporter in whatever amount you can (and whatever frequency) – and it only takes a minute.
Thank you

TMR print pages

Newsletter

Archives

CXC HEADQUARTERS – Executive Search

CXC HEADQUARTERS - Executive Search

https://indd.adobe.com/embed/2b4deb22-cf03-4509-9bbd-938c7e8ecc7d

A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer

May. 24, 2021 – Copied

Of 172 runners participating in an ultramarathon through northwest China on Saturday, 21 were killed when severe weather swept through the area.

Insert Ads Here

Freezing rain, hail, and high winds killed 21 ultramarathon runners, including two of China’s elite marathon athletes, during a 62-mile cross-country mountain race in northwest China, local officials reported on Sunday.

“A front moved through the area and that could have caused those strong winds and hail to happen,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Robert Richards said.

The extreme weather struck Saturday afternoon in a high-altitude section of the race held in the Yellow River Stone Forest in northwest Gansu province, Yahoo reported.

“In a short period of time, hailstones and ice rain suddenly fell in the local area, and there were strong winds. The temperature sharply dropped,” Baiyin City Mayor Zhang Xuchen said.

The death toll has risen to 21 after extreme weather hit a 100-km cross-country mountain marathon race in northwest China's Gansu https://t.co/fqwxNPXlcG pic.twitter.com/s2wrWpDism

— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) May 23, 2021

China Xinhua News @XHNews · May 23 China state-affiliated media The death toll has risen to 21 after extreme weather hit a 100-km cross-country mountain marathon race in northwest China’s Gansu http://xhtxs.cn/fk2

There were a total of 172 participants in the race, the other 151 have been rescued and are now safe, according to official news agency Xinhua.

Some of the runners suffered from hypothermia, and Zhang said earlier that eight people were being treated for minor injuries and were in stable condition, Xinhua reported.

“My whole body was soaked through, including my shoes and socks. I couldn’t stand up straight because of the wind, I was very worried I’d be blown over. The cold became more and more unbearable,” one survivor was quoted in local media.

Marathon organizers dispatched a massive rescue team with more than 1,200 rescuers assisted by thermal-imaging drones, radar detectors and demolition equipment after receiving messages for help from the participants, according to Reuters.

At around 2 p.m. local time, weather conditions worsened and the race was called off, Zhang said.

The deaths have sparked public outrage over the lack of contingency planning.

“Why didn’t the government read the weather forecast and do a risk assessment?” one commentator wrote. “This is totally a manmade calamity. Even if the weather is unexpected, where were the contingency plans?”

Baiyin officials bowed and apologized at a news briefing saying they were saddened by the tragic deaths of the runners and that they were to be blamed, Reuters reported.

“As the event’s organizer, we feel a deep sense of guilt and self-blame, express our deep mourning for the victims and deep condolences to their families and the injured runners,” Zhang said.

“The weather appears to be dry for the next few days there,” Richards said.

Related: Drone gives stunning bird’s-eye view of erupting volcano It’s been 10 years since the deadly Joplin tornado Extreme weather leaves city looking like winter wonderland on 80-degree day

Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier, Spectrum, FuboTV, Philo, and Verizon Fios.