An Italian spectator has died in a horrific accident at the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia.
Organisers confirmed the tourist had been struck by a competitor’s vehicle between Riyadh and Haradh.
The fan was standing ‘behind a sand tune’ on the rally track when the accident happened.
The Amaury Sport Organisation (AMO), the organisers of Dakar, confirmed that the person passed away while on transfer by helicopter to hospital.
The statement read, via Auto Sport: "A spectator of Italian origin who was behind a dune had an accident on the rally course.
"He was evacuated by helicopter for medical assistance but unfortunately died during the transfer."
There is no clear indication of how the incident happened.
Investigations are currently underway to determine the circumstances of the accident.
Marca reports that this isn’t the first tragedy to occur at the Dakar Rally.
There are 73 people who have lost their lives in the 45 editions of the rally in the world.
The event has been held in Europe, Africa, and South America until 2020 and it has been held in Middle Eastern nation since.
The 2023 version of the Dakar Rally started on December 31 near the Red Sea with more than 8,000km of track scheduled, finishing up on January 15 in Dammam.
The Saudi Arabia version of the race is mostly held in desert areas, however, still attracts spectators to the race.
Marca reports that three local fans were almost involved in an accident involving Stephane Petershansel on January 6.
The spectators were sitting on top of the dune to watch the passing of the competitors.
Qatari driver Nasser Al Attiyah currently leads the pack, however, the events of the ninth stage were overshadowed by the death of the tourist.
The official Dakar Rally posted footage of riders Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz’s cash 6km into the special.
The pair were heading over a dune before crashing nose-first into the sand in extraordinary scenes.
The two miraculously left the car and attempted to turn it over to continue the race.
Featured Image Credit: DPPI Media / Alamy. Zuma Press / Alamy.
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