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Last Updated: Monday, 18 June 2007, 21:23 GMT 22:23 UK
US drag car race death toll rises
Drag car involved in accident
The car reportedly fish-tailed and then spun into the crowd
Two more people have died after an accident at a drag car race in the US, bringing the death toll to six.

At least 15 others were injured in the incident, which happened at a charity event on Saturday in Selmer, 130km (80 miles) east of Memphis, Tennessee.

Witness Scott Henley told the Associated Press that after burning off its tyres, the vehicle had swerved into a pole and spun into the crowd.

"Bodies were flying into the air," Selmer Police Chief Neal Burks said.

The condition of the driver was unknown.

Festival closed

Two teenagers were among the dead - a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old - Tennessee Highway Patrol spokesman Mike Browning told the AP news agency.

The death toll was mistakenly put at seven by officials on Sunday but was later revised to six.

The race team is in shock and deeply saddened by this unexpected event
AMS Pro Modified Series

The festival, which was expected to be attended by up to 60,000 people over the weekend, was shut down following the accident.

The AMS Pro Modified Series, which sanctions drag races, issued a statement saying the driver of the car had been a veteran of more than 20 years' drag racing and that he had been taken to hospital after the accident.

The series said the driver had been performing an "exhibition burnout" - spinning the tyres to make them heat up and smoke - when road conditions caused the car to lose control.

"The race team is in shock and deeply saddened by this unexpected event," it added.

"Their hearts and prayers are with the injured people and their families."

The Cars for Kids charity raises money for children with disabilities through a series of national car races and pageants.


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