[WATCH] Supercar loses control and injures 26 at Papaqli show

PHOTOS • 26 people injured, five in critical condition after Porsche supercar crashes into barrier and crowd of onlookers during Paqpaqli ghall-Istrina motorshow • Five critically injured, admitted to ITU

The scene of the incident after a supercar crashed into a crow of onlookers • Photo by MaltaToday reader Claire Caruana
The scene of the incident after a supercar crashed into a crow of onlookers • Photo by MaltaToday reader Claire Caruana
Photo: Matthew Mamo
Photo: Matthew Mamo
Paqpaqli supercar incident aftermath • Video: Hristo Bundevski/Facebook

26 people were injured, three critically, after a Porsche supercar taking part in the annual Paqpaqli ghall-Istrina motorshow lost control before crashing into a section of the crowd.

A six-year-old girl is amongst three people who are in critical condition. The driver of the supercar suffered grievous injuries.

Five people are said to be in critical condition, while a total of 19 were taken to Mater Dei Hospital for treatment. Seven others were receiving treatment at the Paola Health Centre, bringing the total injury toll up to 26. They were released shortly after.

A magisterial inquiry is being held.

The Office of the Prime Minister also called on the public to use Mater Dei helpline numbers 25454032, 25453949, 25453947 in case of any queries regarding the major incident.

The incident occurred at around 2:00pm at Hal Farrug, metres away from the Lufthansa hangar. The crash occurred when a Porsche 918 Spyder driving along the taxiway lost control before going through the barriers and crashing into a large crowd that was watching the event.

The driver of the supercar is said to have been a professional racecar driver.

A number of ambulances were conveyed to treat the wounded, while several spectators desperately tried to help the wounded. Two helicopters were deployed transport the injured.

Mater Dei Hospital was under a major incident mode meaning that it has postponed operations due to the gravity of the incident.

President of the Republic Marie Louise Coleiro-Preca was seen at the scene shortly after the incident and spoke to relatives of the victims. She cancelled travel plans when the incident struck. "I have no words to describe my sorrow at what happened... all we can do is be there for the people affected by this incident."

The President, who chairs the Malta Community Chest Fund, said the charity will support the families of the victims and the injured themselves.

Two hotlines – 22662266 and 21240568 – have been announced to assist those who need psychological help after witnessing the events of the day.

Coleiro Preca thanked the police, army, paramedics, Red Cross and other volunteers who assisted in the assistance of the injured spectators.

She would not comment on any other matters pertaining to the organisation of the event. “The matter now is under a magisterial inquiry. It would be unethical to comment on it.”

When asked whether she felt any responsibility for the incident, Coleiro Preca said her office would “always feel responsible… towards the Maltese people.”

In a tweet, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said he briefly visited the hospital and said that the Mater Dei staff are well prepared and doing their utmost.

Police have also advised motorists to avoid the areas of Hal Farrug, Luqa, Qormi in order for ambulances to convey the injured to Mater Dei Hospital. Visitors and relatives were also kept away while paramedics were treating the wounded.

This was the first ever serious incident during the charity fund-raiser motorshow.

Alternattiva Demokratika chairperson Arnold Casola expressed his condolences with the victims of the incident. “The people were all there for a good cause in order to help others who are less fortunate in life. We augur that their generosity is repaid by coming out of this dramatic event without any serious consequences for the rest of their lives.”

In a tweet, the Curia said its prayers and thought go to those hurt in the incident, while PN leader Simon Busuttil also expressed his condolences, and thanked all rescuers and staff.