Wu Yongning made his living climbing skyscrapers and hanging off the tops of buildings. The 26-year-old daredevil known as "Chinese Superman" gained a notable following for his scary stunts, leading him to try something so risky that it eventually cost him his life.
While attempting to do pull-ups off the top of a 62-story skyscraper in Changsha on November 8, Yongning lost his grip and plummeted to his death. All of which was caught on video.
Warning: it's hard to watch.
— The Straits Times (@STcom) December 12, 2017
In the full video, you see Yongning wiping down the ledge of the building with a piece of fabric. He then swings both of his legs over the building and practices hanging off the ledge with his elbows still bent.
A few seconds later, he climbs back up and gets ready for his second — and unknowingly final — attempt.
He fully extends his elbows and does three full pull-ups before trying to climb back up. He visibly struggles for about 15 seconds before he loses his grip and falls. He hit a terrace below and a window cleaner found his body.
Though Yongning died last month, it wasn't confirmed until last week. His fans learned of his passing when his girlfriend posted about it on social media. According to his uncle, he was going to propose to his girlfriend the day after the stunt.
There was a $15,000 prize for completing the stunt that would help fund their wedding and pay for treatment for his sick mother.
It's still not clear who sponsored the prize money, but police confirmed that he was a martial arts-trained stuntman who had a background in film. A Chinese news site reported that he had worked as an extra in the film industry but started "rooftopping" because he made more money.
“From his interactions with his audience, it seems he really enjoyed the attention,” the China Daily editorial stated. “But with all the likes and comments, he overestimated his own abilities and finally lost his life because of that feeling. Had Wu not been so popular on live-streaming apps, he might not have died.”
He had over 60,000 followers on Weibo, which is a social media platform similar to Twitter.
“More sources show he was on several live-streaming apps and he got many likes, too,” the China Daily News editorial continued. “His death should remind us to strengthen supervision over live-streaming apps. Some of them try to hype things up with obscene and dangerous things, and their purpose is to attract more eyeballs and make a profit. It is time we ended this.”
Jinjin, Yongning's girlfriend, said he rode the elevator over 40 floors before free-climbing 20 more floors of the Grand Hyatt Hotel that day. One of his friends said the stuntman sometimes went "beyond his ability."
"He went a bit over the top, always trying things that are beyond his ability," the friends said. “I have even saved him once ... we stopped playing together.”
Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, true crime, dating, relationships and everything in between. Every Wednesday at 10:20 p.m. you can ask her any and all questions about self-love, dating, and relationships LIVE on YourTango’s Facebook page. You can follow her on Instagram (@blackw00d) and Twitter (@emztweetz).