A 26-year-old Chinese internet star known as “China’s first rooftopper” climbed to the top of a 62-story skyscraper to film a viral video, but the young man lost his grip and plunged to his death, all while being recorded.
The video shows Wu Yongning doing pull-ups at the top of the building but then struggling to get back up on the ledge. Suddenly, his hands slip, and he falls 45 feet to his death, landing on a terrace. The tragedy was filmed by a camera Wu had set up on another part of the building to record himself.
Adding to the tragedy was the fact the he planned to ask his girlfriend’s parents’ permission to marry her two days after the stunt, said his girlfriend, who identified herself as Jin Jin.
She told the newspaper that Wu planned to bring her family a bridal gift of 80,000 yuan (roughly $12,100), about the amount he was due to earn from the video.
Warning: you might find the video disturbing.
Wu’s death was ruled an accident by local authorities.
Wu posted some 300 videos on the live-streaming site Volcano, where he had 1 million followers. The daredevil had live-streamed 217 stunts, for which he was paid around 55,000 yuan (roughly $8,300).
Since his death was made official on Dec. 8, a full month after he died, his fans have flooded social media with tributes.
Jin Jin said the building her boyfriend climbed and fell from, Huayuan International Centre, is only open to the public up to the 44th floor; above there, key cards are required to access the Grand Hyatt hotel. She said she believes Wu took an elevator above the 4oth floor and then free-climbed “nearly 20 more floors” to reach the position where he filmed.
Wu previously work as a background actor in a variety of Chinese films, but the pay was low, and he found that he could he earn much more money by becoming a video blogger, which he did in early 2017.
Within 10 months, he had scaled various skyscrapers around China and performed stunts on top of them.
In early October, he filmed himself doing an one-armed handstand atop of the 70-story Sun Moon Light Plaza in Chongqing. Before that, he walked on across a narrow ledge on top of the 68-story Yuexiu Fortune Center in Wuhan.
Wu performed what may have been his most famous stunt in July, when he did pull-ups without a harness on the edge of a walkway in Zhangjiajie that’s 3,280 feet above the ground.