21 die in extreme weather in China cross-country race

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BEIJING (AP) – Twenty-one people running a mountain marathon cross-country race have died in northwestern China after hail, freezing rain and gale winds hit the high-altitude track. The rescue headquarters quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency says the participants suffered from physical discomfort and the sudden drop in temperature. Some went missing around 1 p.m. Saturday, when the 60-mile race in the Yellow River Stone Forest tourist site in Gansu province was halted. Early Sunday, rescuers found 21 dead, including the last of the five missing following an all-night search that involved more than 700 personnel. A total of 172 people had joined the race. The mayor of Baiyin held a news conference later Sunday and profoundly apologized as the organizer of the event.

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