Chinese official ‘jumps to his death’ after mass marathon deaths

2021.06.10

A Chinese government official from the county where 21 people died in a mountain marathon in Gansu province has allegedly fallen to his death, one day after he was summoned by superiors.

Li Zuobi, a 56-year-old party secretary of Jingtai County of Baiyin City, died on Wednesday morning after a meeting with the disciplinary committee the day before.

Last month, 21 people froze to death during a mountain marathon in River Stone Forest Park in Baiyin, which caught the attention of the central authorities.

Rumors claiming that Li had jumped from the Huayi hotel in Baiyin had spread since Wednesday. Apple Daily called the Jingtai government, the local police and the hotel, but did not receive a response.

Li’s death was only confirmed at around 4 p.m. on Thursday, when the Twitter-like Weibo account of the West China Development magazine — run by the government — posted that Li had jumped from his home at around 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

Chinese netizens speculated that Li must have committed suicide due to the pressure, as he had to bear responsibility for the incident. Posts on Weibo about Li’s fall have since been removed.

Li was from Huining County in Gansu, and he was also vice chair of the Baiyin People’s Political Consultative Conference.

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