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Hundreds of in-line skaters racing through a tunnel in the Dutch capital collided Sunday, creating a huge human pileup. At least 50 competitors were injured.

The midafternoon collision occurred just moments after the race, involving 4,000 skaters, began. One skater fell, tripping up those around him, and the pileup grew as more skaters slammed into those on the ground, Dutch television reported.

Those most seriously injured suffered broken arms and legs as well as cuts and abrasions, and were taken to local hospitals.

The race was one of several road events held on a "car-free Sunday" in which automobiles were banned from the heart of Amsterdam and dozens of other Dutch cities. The vehicle ban was organized by environmentalists trying to call attention to rising traffic and pollution in the Netherlands.

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