China: At least 20 runners die as extreme weather hits cross-country mountain race

At least 20 people have died during a mountain marathon cross-country race in northwest China.

More than 700 rescuers are also searching for at least one competitor who is missing.

According to China’s official Xinhua news agency, extreme weather – hail, freezing rain, and gale-force winds – caused a sudden drop in temperature as the race reached its high-altitude stage on Saturday afternoon.

The race, at the Yellow River Stone Forest tourist site in Baiyin city, Gansu province, was stopped after runners started to go missing.

The victims were found in the early hours of Sunday.

A total of 172 joined the 60-mile race and 151 are confirmed to be safe.

Five of them have minor injuries and are being treated in hospital.

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