Prosecutors Probe Orenburg Car Race

Prosecutors on Monday opened an investigation into the death of a man hit by a car competing in a race in the Orenburg region, saying the organizers failed to protect the spectators.

Pictures broadcast on national television showed the car losing control after hitting a rival car on a snow-covered racing track. It then tore through a barrier of snow and overturned, slamming into a crowd of people.

One person died and nine were injured in the accident, which occurred on Sunday near Orenburg, the Prosecutor General's Office said in a statement.

"Fifteen people were caught under the car. ... Panic ensued. People began to call out 'ambulance,'" witness Alina Rakhimova said on Vesti-24 television.

Prosecutors said the organizers were to blame for the accident.

"The organizers of the race were in violation of the requirements of the law ... on taking measures to ensure the safety of the participants and spectators," the statement said.