Four spectators at Dakar Rally injured by race car

    An injured spectator at the Dakar Rally is taken to an ambulance.

    Story highlights

    • It is unclear how badly hurt the spectators were and how many were hospitalized
    • The No. 360 car is driven by the first woman to compete for China in the race

    (CNN)Four spectators along the route for the Dakar Rally's prologue were injured Saturday when a car veered off the course, rally organizers said on their website.

    The accident in Argentina occurred 6.6 kilometers (4.1 miles) into the 11-kilometer (6.8-mile) route for the first day of the famed race, which has been held in South America since 2009.
      Four helicopters, three race ambulances and eight other ambulances responded to the scene in Buenos Aires. Officials didn't say how many people were hospitalized or give any details about their conditions.
      Organizers said the No. 360 car went off course. Guo Meiling -- the first female driver from China in race history -- and Min Liao, in his third Dakar event, were listed as the racers in the car.
      The event was halted after the crash.
      Since the Dakar Rally began on December 26, 1978, 24 competitors have died but there have been more than 50 fatalities when including the deaths of spectators and officials.
      The marathon motor rally for cars, motorbikes and trucks was originally staged between Paris and Dakar, Senegal.
      It was moved to South America, principally Argentina and Chile, because of threats of terrorism. The 2016 race started in Argentina and will pass through Bolivia.