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Thu Apr 24 08:51:46 SAST 2014

Two dead, seven injured in Dakar Rally collision

Sapa-AFP | 10 January, 2013 14:200 Comments
Dakar Director Etienne Lavigne (3rd R) and Hummer #315's co-pilots Robby Gordon (2nd R) and Kellon Walch (R) of the U.S. are seen near the Hummer after it crashed during the 4th stage of the Dakar Rally 2013 from Nazca to Arequipa, January 8, 2013
Image by: Franck Fife / REUTERS

Two people were killed and seven others were injured in a head-on collision between a Dakar Rally support vehicle and a taxi near Peru's border with Chile, race organisers said on Thursday.

The incident happened at 9:30 pm local time on Wednesday (0330 GMT Thursday) 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) from the frontier, a statement on the race website dakar.com said.

One of two taxis hit the support vehicle head-on while a second cab overturned as its driver tried to avoid the collision.

Two people in the first taxi, including the driver, were killed and seven people, four of them Peruvian, were injured. Three of the injured were in the rally support vehicle. All were taken to hospital for treatment.

An investigation has been launched with the Peruvian authorities, the statement added.

The collision came after the fifth stage of the race from Arequipa in Peru to Arica in Chile. The 8,400km event is being staged in South America with 459 vehicles.

Some 59 people, including 20 spectators, have lost their lives in the race over the years but organisers have been keen to play down the dangers.

This year, around 150 security staff as well as 60 doctors and surgeons are on hand, backed up by five helicopters and 10 medical vehicles, in case of emergencies.

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