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Bureau Of Land Management Says It Did Not Follow Rules In Race Deaths

LOS ANGELES (AP) —The U.S. Bureau of Land Management said Friday its staff failed to follow established procedures for permitting and monitoring an off-road race in which eight spectators were killed in the Mojave Desert.

An internal review found BLM staff in the Barstow, Calif., field office did not hold a pre-race consultation with race promoters.


Furthermore, a ranger assigned to patrol the area did not monitor the Aug. 14 event in which a competing truck plowed into spectators crowded along the course.

The review does not specify who was responsible for permitting the event or whether that person faced any repercussion for not following agency procedures.

BLM Director Bob Abbey said the agency has taken steps to improve oversight of recreational events. He said he also instructed staff at all field offices to follow procedures aimed at ensuring safety at those events.

"My clear directive is: if our field offices cannot fulfill or complete all the required steps in authorizing this event, then no permit will be issued," Abbey said in a statement.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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