BEIJING: A Chinese rooftopping star fell to his death while performing a stunt last month, local media has reported.
Chinese police confirmed that Wu Yongning fell to his death in November from the 62-storey Huayuan Centre in Hunan, The Beijing News reported on Monday (Dec 11).
Rooftopping is the practice of accessing rooftops to capture skyline photography or perform stunts. The footage is often live-streamed or posted on social media.
Wu posted his last video to Weibo on Nov 8, a 30sec clip showing him do pull-ups from the edge of a high-rise building.
According to The Beijing News, authorities were first alerted to Wu’s fatal accident on Nov 9 by his girlfriend, after Wu failed to return from a stunt the previous day.
When he did not pick up her calls or return her messages, she thought at first that he had been detained by the authorities but he had in fact fallen from the 263m tall building.
Wu was last seen by a window cleaner at the building's rooftop, the report said. It added that Wu had climbed about 20 storeys to the roof as the lift only services the first 40 floors of the building.
Wu’s family said the 26-year-old had taken part in a rooftopping challenge that promised 100,000 yuan (US$15,000) in prize money.
Wu’s step-uncle Feng Shengliang was quoted as saying that he may have risked his life for the prize money.
“He planned to propose to his girlfriend [the day after the challenge],” Feng said. “He needed the money for the wedding, and for medical treatment for his ailing mother.”
Wu had worked as a film extra before turning to a career in rooftopping. In February, he began posting his daredevil stunts on Weibo, attracting more than a million followers.
He travelled across China, posting 301 videos from the top of buildings up to 483m in height, Beijing News said.
He bought mobile phones and electrical appliances for his parents with the money he earned, the report added.