Freezing rain, hail and winds kill at least 20 runners in cross-country race

At least 20 people have died after extreme weather hit marathon runners in northwest China’s Gansu Province.

Eight others were reportedly injured after midnight.

Hail, freezing rain and storms hit a mountainous section of the 62-mile cross-country race on Saturday.

Temperatures dropped along the route in the Yellow River Stone Forest, a scenic tourist attraction in Jingtai County.

A total of 172 people took part. As of Sunday, 151 participants, including the injured, had been confirmed as safe, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

More than 700 rescuers were deployed by the local government. One runner is missing, officials said.

Temperatures dropped again during the night due to the complex terrain and topography of the area, making search and rescue difficult, Xinhua said.

A landslide after the storm also hampered rescue work, Baiyin officials said.

Rescuers are on standby after the 100 km cross-country ski race in the mountain marathon in northwest China's Gansu Province

An ambulance en route to the Yellow River Stone Forest tourist attraction in Jingtai County

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