A Porsche 918 crashed into a group of spectators during an event taking place on a makeshift track created on the Malta International Airport in the Hal Farrug district.
Businessman Paul Bailey, 55, was driving the Porsche 918 Spyder when witnesses said it clipped the grass with its right rear wheel, causing the car to spin out of control and run into a group of spectators at the Paqpaqli ghal-Istrina motorshow on Sunday afternoon.
“The car was speeding down the taxiway when a back wheel went on the grass,” an eye witness told the Times of Malta.“The car spun out of control, went through the barriers where a large crowd was watching, and into the area of the static car exhibition. Many people were hit, there was chaos and screams.”
Daniel Caruana Smith was also a spectator in the crowd, and saw the accident take place. He described the horrific incident to Sky News, saying the individuals were thrown like “rag dolls.”
Horrific news about Paul Bailey’s Porsche 918 accident in Malta. He lives close to me. Hope everyone pulls through. http://t.co/7rt83Pibex
— Jonny Smith (@Carpervert) October 5, 2015
“The Porsche spun through 180 degrees before hitting the barriers and a couple of Toyota Celicas that were parked there,” Smith said. “People were literally thrown on impact like rag dolls. I remember seeing the Porsche without its front bumper and a pool of blood on the floor. At this point we left to let emergency services give their assistance.”
The crash left 26 people injured, five critically. It hasn’t been determined what caused the Porsche 918 to crash, and the organizers of the event say the accident will continue to be investigated. They are pointing to the possibility that the car or wheel became faulty as Bailey was driving it. A fleet of ambulances and police cars arrived at the scene shortly after. According to Parliamentary Secretary Chris Fearne, 19 people were admitted to the Mater Dei Hospital with severe injuries, five of whom were listed as being in critical condition and were placed in the intensive care unit. The other spectators were taken to the Paola Health Centre, where they were treated and later released.
Fearne said the injuries included severe head injuries, multiple fractures and abdominal injuries, among others. A young girl and her mother were among the injured. The six-year-old girl was among those listed in critical condition.
On Monday morning, it was reported by The Telegraph that the girl’s condition had improved, and the other five who were in critical condition are now stable. Another spectator improved enough to be taken out of the intensive care unit. Fearne said 13 people still remained in the hospital, including the Bailey. Ten of the individuals will require surgery, one will require a second surgery after undergoing one session on Sunday night.
The motorshow is held each year to raise funds for L-Istrina, the charity fund-raiser held on Boxing Day. The event is the biggest held by the Malta Community Chest Fund. This is the first time a serious accident occurred during the event.
— GasKings (@Gas_Kings) October 4, 2015
Archbishop Scicluna visited the injured spectators and the Curia. In a statement, he said, “Prayers and thoughts go to those hurt at Paqpaqli driving accident.”
“Our thoughts at this difficult time are with the injured and their families,” the Malta Motorsport Federation said in a statement.
[Photo via video screenshot]