Seven Killed, 21 Injured as Car Ploughs into Spectators at Sri Lanka Motor Race

Sun Apr 21 2024
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COLOMBO: At least seven people were killed and another 21 injured when a race car ploughed into spectators at a packed motorsport event hosted by Sri Lanka’s army Sunday, police said.

The incident occurred at the Fox Hill circuit, maintained by the Sri Lankan army, where a driver lost control and veered into the crowd on an unprotected stretch of the track.

A video circulated widely on social media depicted the chaos as track marshals signaled for drivers to slow down after a car overturned. Despite the warnings, a red car careened into the crowd, resulting in screams of panic.

Police spokesman Nihal Thalduwa confirmed the toll, stating that 27 people were rushed to the hospital, with seven succumbing to their injuries. Among the deceased was an eight-year-old girl.

Prior to the tragic crash, army chief Vikum Liyanage had announced the event’s open gates, allowing spectators free entry to promote motorsports. The event marked a return after a five-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the country’s economic challenges.

Liyanage stated that approximately 100,000 spectators had gathered at the Fox Hill circuit, situated about 180 kilometers (112 miles) east of Colombo.

The incident adds to Sri Lanka’s road safety concerns, with its roads already considered among the most dangerous globally. On average, the nation records eight fatalities daily along its extensive road network spanning 12,500 kilometers (7,812 miles).


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