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Newly-wedded young couple struck dead by thunder on "Wild Great Wall"

A NEWLY-WEDDED couple, both 27 years old, lost their lives in a thunder stroke yesterday afternoon when climbing a part of the "Wild Great Wall" in suburban Beijing, the Beijing Youth Daily reported today.

The man, surnamed Wei, was a staffer of the State Intellectual Property Office and the woman, surnamed Chen, was a Ph.D candidate of the prestigious Peking University, according to the report.

Phone calls to the local police bureau today remain unanswered.

A witness surnamed Ji was quoted by the Beijing Times as saying that the two, together with three other tourists, continued climbing toward the peak of the Jiankou part of the Great Wall despite strong rainfall, thunder and lightning.

The two fell off the 50-meter-high wall, Ji said. They already stopped breathing when rescuers arrived about two hours later. The other three tourists, all colleagues of Wei, were slightly injured and are back in the city of Beijing.

This part of the Great Wall, located in the Huairou District, is known for being abrupt and rugged.

"Wild Great Wall", a nickname for sections of the Great Wall that are not officially renovated and open to tourists, scattered in the suburbs of Beijing and have become increasingly hot among venturous tourists.


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