Europe

Seven cyclists killed in collision with car in Italy

Medics inspect the bodies of eight cyclists killed in a collision with a car near Lamezia Terme in Italy (5 December 2010)
Image caption The Sunday-morning cyclists were affiliated with a gym in Lamezia Terme

Italian police have arrested a man after his car ploughed into a group of cyclists, killing seven of them.

The driver was overtaking on a two-lane road near Lamezia Terme in the southern region of Calabria when he hit the oncoming cyclists, officials said.

Four people were also injured in the collision, including the driver, who is a Moroccan national.

He is being held under police guard in hospital on suspicion of manslaughter, according to the Ansa news agency.

Earlier reports had put the death toll at eight.

Police said the arrested man had been driving without a licence, having had it withdrawn seven months ago for dangerous driving, and that blood tests showed he had been driving under the influence of marijuana.

Visibility and driving conditions were reportedly good at the time.

Ansa reported that the dead men were members of a local amateur racing team affiliated with a gym in Lamezia Terme. They were aged between 35 and 58, it added.

The head of the Italian Cycling Federation, Renato Di Rocco, has denounced the violent "massacre".

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