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Monster Truck Crash Kills Eight At Outdoor Event In Mexico

Three days of mourning have been declared in Chihuahua, Mexico, where at least eight people were killed by an out-of-control monster truck this weekend. A crowd had gathered to watch the truck at an outdoor arena that lacked any visible barriers.

From Mexico, James Blears reports for our Newscast unit that the truck went from crushing cars to plunging into a crowd of spectators, leaving eight dead and dozens more injured:

"The accident happened during the 'Extreme Aeroshow' at Rejon Dam, on the outskirts of Chihuahua City. Officials say a technical fault to the vehicle occurred after it had crushed an array of cars and had jumped over them. Witnesses claim the driver lost control of the huge orange truck after hitting his head on the steering wheel.

"The prosecutors' office confirms the driver has been arrested and is being questioned. Safety measures which were supposed to protect the crowd, and didn't, are also being investigated."

The AP reports that the inquiry into the crash has included a sobriety test for the driver. The news agency has acquired video of the incident, which shows a scene of alarm and panic as the truck bounds over cars and continues toward the crowd at the end of the ground-level arena. Its engine seems to continue to rev after it reaches the line of people.

"Chihuahua Gov. Cesar Duarte Juarez said his administration, which was listed as a sponsor of the air show, was investigating whether Civil Protection authorities had correctly enforced safety regulations," the AP says.

Juarez declared three days of mourning out of respect for those killed Saturday, expressing his deep regret over the tragedy, reports the Herald of Chihuahua. Officials say that 12 of the wounded are in critical condition.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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