Death of Chinese rooftop daredevil confirmed by lover

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Wu Yongning fell from a high-rise building in Changsha on November 8. Photo: thepaper.cn

A famous Chinese skyscraper daredevil, or “rooftopper” in popular parlance, who had a million followers on his Sina Weibo account fell to his death a month ago while taking a video of himself atop a 62-story building in Changsha in southern China’s Hunan province, it has been announced.

Wu Yongning

Wu Yongning Photo: Weibo

Wu Yongning, a 26-year-old Hunan man who had worked in some action movies, started his daredevil career in February. The young man, who claimed to be the first “rooftopper” in China who did not need any safety equipment, had taken videos of his exploits on mountaintops and high-rise buildings.

Since Wu posted his last message on his Weibo account on November 8 there had not been any updates, worrying his fans. Finally his girlfriend, identified only as Jin Jin, confirmed on social media that Wu had died on November 8.

That morning, Wu accepted a challenge to climb to the top of the  Huayuan Hua Center in Changsha but fell to his death, apparently exhausted, according to Beijing News. His body was found by a cleaner the following day.

A video circulated on social media showed that Wu failed to pull himself back on to the rooftop as the building’s wall was slippery. He tried for 20 seconds and finally fell.

Wu’s friends said he had been trying to win 100,000 yuan (US$15,000) by participating in a challenge so he could propose to his girlfriend and get medical treatment for his mother. They said Wu was generous and hard-working.

A commentary on Beijing Business Today said online platforms that encourage people to do stunt performances should face stronger regulations.

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