Crew injured after car fire at Sydney drag race

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Five crew members were injured in a drag racing accident at a Sydney circuit yesterday.

Paramedics were called to Sydney Dragway at around 5.15pm yesterday to what a witness described as a fire involving a car engine, a New South Wales Ambulance spokesperson said at 9News.com.au.

Top Fuel Australia has confirmed there was a ‘start line incident’ involving the Jim Read Racing team during today’s Nitro Champs at the Eastern Creek venue.

WARNING: This article contains an image below which may be distressing

The crowd turned on their phones at the Sydney Dragway. (Top Fuel Australia)

Sydney Dragway’s live broadcast of the event appeared to show an explosion in the rear of driver Phil Read’s car as it lined up at the start line.

Officials rushed to help someone seen lying on the ground immediately after the detonation.

Host Chad Neylon, who was just yards from the car during the upcoming race preview, said there appeared to have been a “starting line issue here when they went clean the engine”.

“I can tell you the crew here right now is treating two crew members (from) Jim Read Racing,” he said on the telecast.

“…There’s a bit of a shock here at the moment. It’s not what we expected and it’s not what we wanted to see here for the second run of the race.”

Paramedics were called to the Sydney Dragway in Eastern Creek after the explosion.
Paramedics were called to the Sydney Dragway in Eastern Creek after the explosion. (Provided)

The ambulance spokesman said four people were taken to hospital, including a man believed to be in his 20s, who had severe burns at Westmead Hospital.

In a Facebook post, Jim Read Racing said four of the five crew members were discharged from hospital.

“Four crew members have been released from hospital and a fifth crew member requires further care and is expected to make a full recovery,” the message read.

Top Fuel Australia has asked fans to “send love and attention” to the affected team.

“A thorough investigation is underway with IHRA Australia, Sydney Dragway’s sanctioning body,” the organization said at around 8:15 p.m., on Facebook.

“In light of this, Top Fuel will have no further comment at this time other than to say our thoughts are with the team members involved and they are all in safe hands.”

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