Europe

Malta crash: UK Porsche driver among motor show injured

  • 5 October 2015
  • From the section Europe
The Porsche supercar span out of control at high speed, hitting spectators Image copyright Reuters TV
Image caption Graphic footage showed the car careering through a plastic barrier into the crowd

A British businessman was among more than 20 people injured when he lost control of a Porsche sports car and ploughed into spectators at a motor show in Malta.

Paul Bailey's car spun off an airport taxiway as a rear wheel hit the grass.

A six-year-old girl and four other spectators were critically hurt in the crash at Paqpaqli.

Exhibitors and witnesses have questioned the track's safety, saying barriers offered little protection.

The girl's condition had improved slightly on Monday, according to reports.

Media captionDramatic footage showed the Porsche car crashing into spectators

The four others in a critical condition were in intensive care and their lives were still in danger, a hospital official said.

Maltese government health spokesman Chris Fearne said 13 others were still in hospital, most of them with head and chest fractures, the Times of Malta reported.

'Thrown in the air'

Mr Bailey, a self-made millionaire from Rutland in the East Midlands, was among those still being treated for a head injury.

Minutes before the crash he was interviewed alongside some of the cars he had brought for the event in aid of a Maltese charity.

Maltese TV broadcast video footage of the accident showing how his white Porsche 918 Spyder hit the grass on one side of the taxiway and careered across the road at high speed, through a makeshift barrier and into the crowd.

"I saw people thrown in the air, children on the ground, and women crying and screaming," Romanian photographer Christian Nicodimescu told Malta's TVM.

Image copyright Riad Ariane
Image caption Paul Bailey, pictured in his white Porsche 918 Spyder, has been receiving treatment for a head injury

Organisers immediately cancelled the rest of the event, which had been opened by President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca.

She had earlier gone for a ride in the Porsche and spoke of her shock and sadness at what had happened.

A judicial inquiry is underway into the cause of the crash.

Michel Zarb, an exhibitor who had cars at the show, told the Malta Independent newspaper the safety measures were inadequate.

"The barriers put up are the same as those used to keep people behind them as they wave to the Queen."

The organisers, which include the president's office, said the cause of the crash would have to be investigated, and have not responded to the criticism about safety measures.

Malta does not currently have a permanent motor race track of international standards, despite calls from motorsport enthusiasts.

More on this story