International Sport

Spectator killed during Dakar Rally in Bolivia

Image: The Mitsubishi of Lionel Baud of France is seen on the side of the road during the seventh stage in the Dakar Rally 2016 near Uyuni, Bolivia, January 9, 2016. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

SALTA, Argentina (Reuters) – A Bolivian spectator was killed at the Dakar Rally on Saturday when he was hit by a Mitsubishi driven by Frenchman Lionel Baud during the seventh stage from Bolivia to Argentina, organisers said.

“The organisation’s medical service could only confirm, unfortunately, the death of the person involved (in the accident),” they said in a statement after the stage from Uyumi in Bolivia to Salta in northwest Argentina.

Reports said the 63-year-old man was hit at the 82km mark of the stage.

It was the 64th death in the history of the annual endurance race since 1979, which has included 23 competitors killed, and the sixth since it was moved from Africa to South America in 2009 for security reasons.

The prologue stage to this year’s event in Argentina was also marred by an accident when a Mini driven by Chinese Guo Meiling went into the crowd and injured eight spectators including three children and a pregnant woman.

The Dakar Rally started out as a gruelling race from Paris across the Sahara to the Senegalese capital Dakar and remains one of the most formidable challenges in motorsport.

(Reporting by Luis Ampuero in Buenos Aires; Writing by Rex Gowar, editing by Alan Baldwin)

Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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