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Sri Lanka: 7 dead after race car crashes into spectators

April 22, 2024

The crash happened at a motor sports event organized by the Sri Lankan army that was being held for the first time in five years after COVID-19 and an economic crisis.

The scene of the crash
Police are investigating the cause of the deadly accidentImage: AFP/Getty Images

At least seven people were killed when a race car veered off a track and ploughed into a crowd of spectators in Sri Lanka on Sunday.

The incident occurred at the Fox Hill circuit in Diyatalawa, some 180 kilometers (110 miles) east of the capital, Colombo.

"A total of 27 people were taken to hospital and seven of them succumbed to their injuries," police spokesperson Nihal Thalduwa said.

Among the dead were four race officials and an eight-year-old girl.

Investigation underway

Thalduwa said police have opened an investigation into the accident, which occurred at the motor sports event organized by the Sri Lankan army.

The remaining races were called off after the accident.

Around 45,000 spectators had gathered at the event, which was being held for the first time in five years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Sri Lanka's economic crisis.

Shortly before the crash, army chief Vikum Liyanage announced that the gates had been opened to spectators free of charge in order to promote motor sports.

zc/jsi (AFP, AP)