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Spectator killed in Argentine-Chile Dakar rally

January 03, 2010 09:07 IST
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A spectator was struck and killed on Saturday while watching the first leg of the Dakar Rally being run across Argentina and Chile this month.

Officials said Natalia Sonia Gallardo, 28, was hit by the DW car of German driver Mirco Schultis, who had lost control of his vehicle around a curve. Five other people were involved in the crash.

Leonardo Botto, a security coordinator for the rally, said Gallardo was part of a group that was watching the race from an unauthorized viewing area along the Colon to Cordoba route.

The Dakar, originally conceived 31 years ago as a trans-Saharan race from Paris to the Senegalese capital, was held for the first time last year in South America.

The controversial race was moved away from its traditional route in West Africa because of terrorism fears in Mauritania.

It has claimed the lives of at least 50 competitors and other people, including two children hit by vehicles in 2006.

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