Emergency services in Spain say a race car has crashed into a barrier in front of spectators who were watching the event, injuring at least 12 people.

A statement from emergency services says one spectator at the event in the northern Spanish region of Cantabria broke an arm, while a woman received multiple injuries and a third person was forced to amputate a leg.

It says a helicopter was sent to the scene to transport the woman to the hospital, while the others were taken by ambulance.

The crash occurred late Friday on a sharp bend minutes after rain had made the road surface slippery and the driver lost control, according to regional newspaper Diario de Cantabria.

It said the impact sent the crash barrier flying through the air.