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Nine hurt after fire guts Williams garage

May 13, 2012 22:38 IST

Nine people were hurt when the Williams garage was gutted by fire while the Formula One team were celebrating their first win in nearly eight years at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.

Team founder and principal Frank Williams, who is in a wheelchair, had been in the Circuit de Catalunya garage when it went up in flames but was wheeled to safety, his daughter Claire told Reuters.

"We have four people in the medical centre at the moment receiving precautionary care and I believe one has been flown off to hospital but that has not been confirmed," she said.

Caterham, who have an adjacent garage to Williams, said in a statement that four of their staff had been taken to the circuit medical centre for examination - one with a minor hand injury and three with respiratory issues.

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley said one of his staff had been taken to the medical centre and would remain under observation for an hour after suffering from smoke inhalation.

Fire in Williams circuitThe fire, with thick, acrid black smoke billowing out of the garage and across the paddock, started about 90 minutes after the end of the race won by Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado.

Team members had gathered for a photograph in the pit lane before the fire took hold.

Photographs showed Brazilian Bruno Senna's car in the middle of a gutted and charred garage.

Maldonado's had been parked elsewhere under post-race parc ferme rules. Emergency services arrived after mechanics from several teams had battled against the flames with extinguishers from the pit lane side.

Team officials and guests were ushered to safety and the area cordoned off. A medical helicopter was seen to take off later.

Maldonado's victory, from pole position, was the first of his career. The fire was the second in the Formula One paddock in five races this season, with one breaking out in the Lotus hospitality area at the Malaysian circuit in March.

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