7 killed as motorsports race car hits crowd

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SRI LANKA, April 22: A devastating crash occurred at the Fox Hill Supercross race on Sunday in Diyatalawa, an army base town, resulting in the loss of seven lives, including four race officials and spectators, among them an eight-year-old girl, according to army reports.

Details about the driver involved in the crash, their condition, and potential charges remain scarce, prompting authorities to initiate a full police investigation into the incident on the army-owned track in Diyatalawa, located in central southern Sri Lanka.

Police spokesman Nihal Talduwa provided preliminary information, stating, “This accident happened when the car jumped out of the running lane,” as reported by BBC Sinhala.

Eyewitnesses recounted that the crash occurred shortly after another car overturned on the track. Despite efforts by officials to signal caution with yellow lights, a red car deviated from the course, careening into spectators along the unprotected trackside.

Disturbing footage circulated on social media captured the chaos following the tragedy, with screams echoing through the crowd as individuals rushed to aid the victims.

The immediate aftermath saw five fatalities on-site, while two others succumbed to injuries in the hospital. Several individuals remain in critical condition, according to officials.

Criticism on social media has surfaced regarding the lack of safety measures, particularly the absence of protective barriers in certain sections of the track.

The event, organized by the Sri Lankan Automobile Sports Association, has a longstanding history, operating since 1993. However, due to pandemic restrictions and economic challenges facing the country, Sunday’s race marked the first in five years.

Prior to the event, organizers opened access to spectators free of charge, drawing an estimated 100,000 attendees.

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