Two people have died and sever were injured in a three-vehicle accident during the Dakar Rally on Wednesday evening.
The accident took place seven miles from the Chilean border at 9:30 pm local time, at the end of the rally’s fifth stage between Arequipa (Peru) and Arica (Chile). According to organizers, a race support vehicle collided head-on with a taxi, while a second taxi rolled over several times as the driver tried to avoid the accident.
The driver and a passenger in the first taxi were both killed, while the three passengers from the support vehicle were among seven people who were injured and taken to hospitals in Tacna, Peru. The taxis were carrying six and four people respectively.
Local authorities have begun an inquiry on the accident, while several of the race’s security and paramedic vehicles were deployed to assist local emergency services following the accident. An Antonov aircraft of the Peruvian police has been put on special alert to transport the injured to Lima, in coordination with the rally’s medical service.
The Dakar Rally has seen 12 other deaths in the last decade, eight of which were competitors. The rally was originally held in Europe and North Africa, but moved to South America in 2009 after the 2008 race was cancelled following threats from terrorist groups in the Sahara Desert.