Printed on Mon Oct 03 2022 9:21:12 PM

21 athletes die while running marathon in China

International desk
21 athletes die
At least 21 athletes have died while running a marathon in China. According to Qatar-based Al Jazeera, the tragic incident took place in the northwestern province of Gansu due to cold and windy weather.

Athletes took part in the 100km cross-country marathon on Saturday, May 22 at Yellow River Stone Forest, near the town of Baiyin  in China's Gansu Province, citing local officials, Al Jazeera reported on Sunday, May 23. The tragic incident happened later in the afternoon.

Baiyin Mayor Zhang Shuchen said, "After the start of the marathon, the athletes who took part in the marathon suddenly faced a catastrophic hurdle at a very high altitude of 20 to 31 kilometers. In a short time, windy weather, hail and cold rain started in the area. The temperature also dropped suddenly."

He added that after receiving messages, the organizing authority sent a rescue team there shortly after. They were able to rescue 18 contestants.

Mayor Zhang added that the competition was immediately called off at 2pm local time if the weather got worse. More rescue teams were later sent to the scene for help.

He said the tragic incident was due to a sudden change in the weather, adding that six more injured contestants were being treated at the hospital. Gansu Province authorities are also investigating the incident.

A total of 172 runners took part in the marathon, according to China's state news agency Xinhua. According to the latest information, a total of 151 contestants, including 8 injured, have been confirmed to be safe.

Voice TV/IA
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