Tue, May 21, 2024

7 dead as car plows into spectators at Sri Lanka motor race

During a crowded motorsport gathering hosted by the Sri Lankan army, a driver collided with spectators, resulting in chaos.

Written by  Annesha Barua -- April 21st 2024 08:36 PM
7 dead as car plows into spectators at Sri Lanka motor race

7 dead as car plows into spectators at Sri Lanka motor race

PTC News Desk: In a devastating turn of events, a race car careened into a crowd of spectators during a bustling motorsport event organised by Sri Lanka's army on Sunday, resulting in the loss of at least seven lives and leaving 21 others injured, according to the police.

The horrific incident unfolded at the Fox Hill circuit in Colombo, a venue maintained by the Sri Lankan army. A video circulating widely on social media captured the chaos as track marshals signaled for drivers to slow down following an earlier accident where a car overturned on the track. Despite the warning, a red car failed to decelerate, crashing into the crowd amidst clouds of dust, eliciting screams from the terrified onlookers.

Police spokesman Nihal Thalduwa confirmed that a total of 27 individuals were rushed to the hospital, with seven tragically succumbing to their injuries. Among the deceased was an eight-year-old girl, further deepening the sense of tragedy.

The catastrophic incident occurred shortly after Sri Lankan army chief Vikum Liyanage announced that entry to the event was free of charge as part of an initiative to promote motorsports. It marked the first time in five years that the event had been held, with hopes of providing respite amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the country's economic struggles.

Liyanage expressed his sorrow over the tragedy, emphasizing the significance of the event and the decision to welcome spectators without any entry fee. Despite the attempt to foster community engagement and enthusiasm for motorsports, the event took a tragic turn, shattering the celebratory atmosphere.

Sri Lanka's roads have long been recognized as some of the most perilous globally, with an average of eight fatalities reported daily across the extensive network of over 12,500 kilometers. The harrowing incident serves as a stark reminder of the inherent risks associated with motorsport events and underscores the need for stringent safety measures to prevent such tragedies in the future.

- With inputs from agencies

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