Twenty-one racers were killed when hail, freezing rain, and strong winds struck runners competing in a 100-kilometer (62-mile) cross-country mountain race in China on Sunday.
The race was held in the scenic Yellow River Stone Forest near Baiyin city in northwestern Gansu province on Saturday afternoon where severe weather hit a high-altitude section.
Chinese media reported that the death toll had risen to 21. All those were Chinese long-distance runners.
"In a short period of time, hailstones and ice rain suddenly fell in the local area, and there were strong winds. The temperature sharply dropped, "Baiyin city mayor Zhang said.
Marathon organizers dispatched a rescue team shortly after receiving messages from some participants requesting assistance. The rescue team saved 18 of the 172 participants.
Weather conditions deteriorated around 2 p.m and the race was immediately canceled by the local authorities and they sent more rescuers to assist, said Zhang.