Spectators hurt in car accident at Dakar Rally

Updated: 

At least four spectators were taken to hospital after car driven by competitor Guo Meiling ploughed into the crowd at the Dakar Rally on Saturday, race organisers confirmed.

The special prologue was supposed to determine the running order ahead of Sunday's official opener but it was instead suspended as Meiling - the first Chinese woman to compete in the race - veered off the road in her Mini Cooper and hit a group of spectators at 6.6km-mark of the race between the Argentinean capital Buenos Aires and Rosario.

Four helicopters, three medical vehicles and eight local ambulances were deployed to the scene, with Daniel Modesto - a doctor at the Santa Francisca de Arrecifes hospital - later telling TN that 10 people were treated for injuries, including a pregnant woman and four children.

Organisers did not disclose the nature of the injuries but said the "remainder of the trip to the Rosario bivouac will be considered a link section" after neutralising the race.

Monday's first stage of the 37th running of the Dakar Rally will take part between Rosario and Villa Carlos Paz.