Middle East

Saudi Arabia launches probe into Dakar Rally car explosion

French driver injured after explosion involving assistance truck ahead of Dakar Rally opening

Saudi Arabia launches probe into Dakar Rally car explosion

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia

The Saudi authorities have launched an investigation into an explosion involving an assistance truck ahead of the opening of this year’s edition of the Dakar Rally.

A French driver was injured when the assistance truck for the Sodicars team had caught fire after an engine explosion on Thursday.

"There is no criminal suspicion in the accident that occurred to a support team vehicle for one of the drivers participating in Rally Dakar 2022," the Saudi Interior Ministry said on Twitter.

The French Foreign Ministry, for its part, urged its citizens in Saudi Arabia to take maximum alertness from any security risks.

“An investigation by Saudi authorities is underway to determine the cause of this explosion. The possibility of a criminal act has not been ruled out," the ministry said in a statement.

The Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) said arrangements have been taken to return the French driver back to France.

"His vehicle was brought to a sudden halt by a sudden explosion, the origin of which is still unknown at this stage," ASO said in a statement.

“Given this uncertainty and as a precautionary measure, we have decided with the Saudi authorities to reinforce all the security measures that were already in force in previous years and have been renewed for this third edition of the Dakar in Saudi Arabia," the statement added.

Saudi Arabia hosts this year’s edition of the Dakar Rally from January 1 through 14.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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