A daredevil plummeted to his death during a risky stunt near the top of a 62-story building in China, according to new reports.
Wu Yongning, 26, who called himself “China’s First Rooftopper,” plunged from the Huayuan International Centre in Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province in Central China, on Nov. 8, AsiaWire reported.
A month later, Yongning’s girlfriend and family members confirmed his death.
A viral video clip, which racked up more than 15 million views on Chinese social media, shows Yongning — who had already reached the roof of the skyscraper — lowering himself over the edge of the building to do a pull-up stunt. But when he tried to hoist himself back up, he struggled for a few moments before losing his grip and plummeting down the side of the building.
The camera phone that he had set up to record the stunt quickly lost sight of him.
Authorities describe the fatal fall as an accident and have ruled out foul play, according to the report. Police believe he plunged about 45 feet onto a terrace and died of his injuries either during or right after the plunge.
His girlfriend, identified only as “Jinjin,” told the outlet that she believes Yongning took an elevator “over 40 floors” and began his climb “nearly 20 more floors” until he reached the spot where he filmed.
The building is only open to the public until the 44th floor — and beyond that, key cards are needed to access the Grand Hyatt Hotel, according to the report.
Yongning would have received 100,000 yuan — or about $15,000 — for the stunt, his family told the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald. It is unclear who was sponsoring that prize.
“He planned to propose to his girlfriend [the day after the challenge],” Yongning’s step-uncle Feng Shengliang told the South China Morning Post. “He needed the money for the wedding, and for medical treatment for his ailing mother.”
One friend commended Yongning’s selflessness in a post on the Chinese social media site Weibo.
“You are one of those people in this world, you will do anything for your loved ones, absolutely anything,” the user wrote, according to the BBC.
But others criticized him for the reckless act.
“Why would you seek attention in such a dangerous way, just for your fans?” another person posted.
Yongning was known for scaling skyscrapers without any safety equipment — just his own “martial arts training and careful planning,” one of his Weibo posts said, according to the outlet. He shared nearly 300 videos of his death-defying acts.