Twenty-one people died on Saturday during a 62-mile mountain race in northwestern China after extreme weather struck the region, local officials said. Liang Jing, a well-known 31-year-old ultramarathon champion, was among those who died.
The weather reportedly changed suddenly hours into the event while the runners were nearing the 12-mile mark at 6,500 feet above sea level. "In a short period of time, hailstones and freezing rain fell in the area, and there were strong winds," Zhang Xuchen, the mayor of the nearby city of Baiyin, said. "The temperature dropped sharply."
Ultimately, 151 of the 172 participants were confirmed to be safe following a massive rescue effort. Per The New York Times, discussion online in China focused on the possible lack of preparedness by local government organizers, with people questioning whether they had paid enough attention to the weather forecast. Read more at The New York Times and CNN.