The French Dakar rally driver injured in an explosion in Jeddah last week has reportedly emerged from a coma. Phillippe Boutron sustained life-threatening injuries in the blast, which occurred at a hotel near the Jeddah International Airport.
Boutron was at the time of the explosion driving a support vehicle for the Sodicars Racing team. The blast caused extensive damage to the vehicle.
The injured Frenchman was immediately after the incident flown back home to France, where he was placed in a medical coma because of the severity of his injuries.
Team Sodicars Racing has in the meantime made claims of attempts by Saudi Arabian authorities to cover up the true cause of the explosion. While police have insisted that no evidence suggests to support the notion of a criminal act, a rally official says the possibility of a malicious act cannot be ruled out. French investigators have now opened an official inquiry into an incident described as terrorist driven.
According to comments made to members of the press by a spokesperson for Sodicars, the incident had been an outright attack instead of an accident. He insisted that the truth about the true nature of the incident be told, and not the version broadcast by Saudi authorities.
Commenting too had been Richard Gonzalez, who is the head of the racing team. Gonzalez reported how he had seen for himself how a charge under the side of the car had caused the explosion. He also claimed to have photos proving the act to have been deliberate and terrorism fuelled.
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