7 dead, 20 injured in Sri Lanka in race car crash

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — A race car veered off the track during a competition in Sri Lanka on Sunday and rammed into a crowd of spectators and race officials, killing seven people and injuring 20 others, officials said.

Thousands of spectators looked on as the crash took place during a race in the town of Diyatalawa in the tea-growing central hills, about 180 kilometers (110 miles) east of the capital Colombo.

The cause wasn’t immediately clear.

Police spokesperson Nihal Thalduwa said one of the cars veered off the track and struck spectators and officials. Seven people, including four officials, were killed and another 20 were being treated at a hospital, said Thalduwa. He said three of the injured were in critical condition.

Thalduwa said police have launched an investigation into the crash, which happened during the 17th out of 24 scheduled events. The race was suspended afterward.

About 45,000 spectators had gathered at the race circuit at a Sri Lankan military academy. The event was organized by the Sri Lankan army and Sri Lanka Automobile Sports.

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