Chinese daredevil plunges 62 storeys to his death

Screen grabs from a video purportedly showing Mr Wu Yongning falling to his death from Huayuan Centre, the tallest building in Changsha.
Screen grabs from a video purportedly showing Mr Wu Yongning falling to his death from Huayuan Centre, the tallest building in Changsha. PHOTOS: THE STAR/YOUTUBE
Screen grabs from a video purportedly showing Mr Wu Yongning falling to his death from Huayuan Centre, the tallest building in Changsha.
Screen grabs from a video purportedly showing Mr Wu Yongning falling to his death from Huayuan Centre, the tallest building in Changsha. PHOTOS: THE STAR/YOUTUBE
Screen grabs from a video purportedly showing Mr Wu Yongning falling to his death from Huayuan Centre, the tallest building in Changsha.
Screen grabs from a video purportedly showing Mr Wu Yongning falling to his death from Huayuan Centre, the tallest building in Changsha. PHOTOS: THE STAR/YOUTUBE
Screen grabs from a video purportedly showing Mr Wu Yongning falling to his death from Huayuan Centre, the tallest building in Changsha.
Screen grabs from a video purportedly showing Mr Wu Yongning falling to his death from Huayuan Centre, the tallest building in Changsha. PHOTOS: THE STAR/YOUTUBE

HONG KONG • A 26-year-old Chinese rooftopping daredevil fell to his death from a 62-storey building in Changsha, the capital of China's Hunan province.

Police said Mr Wu Yongning fell from the Huayuan Centre, the tallest building in Changsha, on Nov 8.

Rooftoppers are daredevils who climb to the top of a tall building, often illegally, and take photos of themselves perched precariously atop the building.

The South China Morning Post reported yesterday that Mr Wu had abruptly stopped posting videos on microblogging site Weibo for more than a month.

His family told the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald last Saturday that he had taken part in a "rooftopping challenge" that promised 100,000 yuan (S$20,400) in prize money.

His step-uncle, Mr Feng Shengliang, told the media that Mr Wu might have risked his life for the prize money.

"He planned to propose to his girlfriend (the day after the challenge)," said Mr Feng. "He needed the money for the wedding, and for medical treatment for his ailing mother."

Mr Wu, who was from Ningxiang in Hunan province, worked as a film extra before he became a rooftopper. In February, he started posting his exploits on Weibo, amassing over a million followers. He often featured in social media advertisements and live-streaming platforms.

The Beijing News reported that Mr Wu's girlfriend called the police on Nov 9, after he failed to return.

The South China Morning Post reported that Mr Wu was known for attempting his daredevil feats without any safety equipment. He relied only on "martial arts training and careful planning", according to one of his posts on Weibo. He had shared nearly 300 videos of his adventures atop various buildings in China.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2017, with the headline 'Chinese daredevil plunges 62 storeys to his death'. Print Edition | Subscribe