A driver lost control during a Texas drag racing event on an airport runway on Saturday, slamming into a crowd of spectators, killing two children and injuring eight other people, authorities said.
A six-year-old boy and an eight-year-old boy were killed in the crash at the Airport Race Wars Two event at the Kerrville-Kerr County Airport, police said in a news release.
The organized event was attended by thousands and involved drivers speeding down a runway as they competed for cash.
The driver “lost control and left the runway, crashing into parked vehicles and striking spectators who were observing the races,” Kerville police said.
The injured victims were taken to hospital, including a 46-year-old woman who was listed in a critical condition.
The majority of the other injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, although the condition of a 26-year-old man was unknown, the authorities said.
A four-year-old boy and a three-month-old girl were taken to hospital for evaluations as a precaution.
Authorities did not immediately release the identities of the two children who were killed at the event about 97km northwest of San Antonio.
The Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Web site promoted the event as an “action packed, family-friendly day” in which spectators could watch the “fastest drag cars compete for over US$8000 in total prizes.”
More than 3,500 people were in attendance, said Louis Amestoy, a freelance journalist who attended the event.
The race was 0.2km long, and water-filled plastic barriers lined the course, but Amestoy said that they did not extend past the finish line, leaving no protection between spectators and cars as they were slowing down at the end of the race.
The spectators could get within about 5m of the track and many watched the race from lawn chairs in the absence of stands.
The driver was nearing the end of the strip when the car veered off course, Amestoy said.
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