Extreme weather in China kills 21 in ultramarathon

An ultramarathon in northwest China became fatal after extreme cold weather struck on Saturday.

That's according to state media Xinhua on Sunday, which said twenty-one people were killed in the rugged Gansu province.

The 62-mile race kicked off earlier in the weekend with nearly 200 runners clad in t-shirts and shorts under overcast skies near a site along the Yellow River.

The route would take runners through deep canyons and up to elevations over 3,000 feet.

A mountainous section of the race was hit by hail and freezing rain by midday on Saturday.

Xinhua reported that over 1,200 rescuers were dispatched, but a landslide following the severe weather hampered their efforts.

The deaths sparked outrage on Chinese social media, mainly directed at the regional government over its lack of contingency planning.

Several official weather reports predicted strong winds and drops in temperature over the weekend.

Officials bowed and apologized on Sunday during the news briefing, taking responsibility for the tragedy.

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