Six people injured in an accident during a drag race in Douliu

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Taipei, Dec. 4 (CNA) Six people, including a pregnant woman, were injured on Saturday when a car slammed into a crowd of spectators at a drag racing venue in Douliu, Yunlin County.

A pregnant woman suffered minor abrasions and abdominal pain when she fell as the crowd tried to disperse when a Mercedes Benz swerved off the track during a race against a Mitsubishi to test their time from 0 to 400 kilometers per hour over a distance of 100 meters.

There were no guardrails at the site and the car struck spectators, injuring six people, who were rushed to nearby hospitals.

One of them reportedly suffered bone fractures that required surgery. That person, along with the pregnant woman, remained in hospital, while the others had been discharged, at press time.

The accident happened near the start line, meaning the vehicles were not at full speed when the white Mercedes Benz crashed into the crowd.

The drag racing event, co-organized by the Douliu Municipal Office and the Yunlin Visitors’ Association, took place in a public space, where streets had been closed and spectators allowed to congregate.

Douliu Mayor Lin Sheng-chueh (林聖爵), who visited the crash site and the victims, said safety protocols were put in place ahead of the two-day show and were being broadcast over an intercom before each race.

With larger-than-expected crowds, however, it became difficult to maintain all security measures, said Lin, who had promoted the event in music videos ahead of its start on Saturday.

According to Yunlin County Councilor Chiang Wen-teng (江文登) of the Democratic Progressive Party, Douliu Municipal Office was to blame for its lack of organization.

Not only did the provisions endanger the public, but they allowed noise pollution as many vehicles were allowed to travel at high speeds on public roads, Chiang said.

The event was scheduled for December 4 and 5, with scheduled races and car shows featuring imported race cars and tuned vehicles, but following the crash, Mayor Lin announced that all races and shows had been cancelled.

(By Chiang Yi-ching and James Lo)

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