Video: F1 personnel injured in huge Williams fire UPDATE #3
This is the 2nd time an F1 garage has caught fire this year. In the photo to the right the Lotus garage burns in Sepang in March. F1 regulations allow for some fairly potent fuel mixes. Perhaps they are volatile as well. Imagine how many casualties there would have been had the fire broke out in the middle of a race with it full of personnel and guest dignitaries. Look for F1 to implement a new rule to help prevent F1 garage fires by safely storing fire hazard materials outside the garage. (Note: See Williams fire photos in this week's Photos of The Week on our home web page or on our iPhone and iPad apps)
|Lotus garage fire in Sepang|
05/13/12 Governing body FIA said 31 people were treated by Catalunya Circuit medical staff, with seven of those flown out to a variety of hospitals to receive treatment.
Catalonia's regional government said in a statement that one of the persons was airlifted to Barcelona hospital with serious burn wounds, while the rest were being treated locally for smoke inhalation.
Williams confirmed a fuel leak caused the problem, with four of its staff treated for injuries. Three of those remained in hospital.
F1 team Caterham said in a statement that four team employees were among those taken to the Catalunya Circuit medical center to be examined, one with a minor hand injury and three with respiratory issues.
The fire erupted soon after Maldonado and the team had taken the traditional victory photo in front of the team garage with members of all teams close by rushing to help contain the blaze.
"The FIA is collaborating closely with the Spanish authorities investigating this incident," FIA said.
Williams team principle Frank Williams, who is a paraplegic, was rushed from his wheelchair as he was giving a celebratory speech for a first F1 victory in eight years that coincided with the longtime team principal's 70th birthday celebrations.
A black, acrid haze came flowing out of the British team's garage, filling the paddock and pit lane.
Mechanics and circuit firefighters were quickly on the scene to put out the fire with an ambulance on the scene treating one person for what appeared to be smoke inhalation.
Williams driver Bruno Senna's car was torched by the blaze, while Maldonado's car was alongside fellow podium finishers cars away from the Williams garage.05/13/12
05/13/12 (GMM) The drama stepped up a notch even after the checkered flag in Barcelona.
A couple of hours after Williams' first win since 2004, something exploded in the British team's garage, triggering a major fire.
Team members and fire crews battled the blaze as paddock regulars scrambled away from the heavy smoke and police arrived on the scene.
The Telegraph's Tom Cary said on Twitter there are "multiple injuries".
It is believed Williams, Force India and Caterham staff - some of whom bravely fought the fire - are being treated in the medical centre, some for smoke inhalation.
An emergency helicopter will ferry others to hospital.
"Couple of our guys got injuries, burns and maybe one broken wrist, no news on Williams guys I hope they're ok," wrote Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen on Twitter.
Rumors indicated the fire could have been caused by a KERS explosion, or possibly fuel, as a burned fuel rig was pulled from the gutted garage.
Caterham Team Statement
Caterham F1 Team was involved in a fire that started in the Williams F1 Team's garage after the end of the Spanish Grand Prix.
All the team's employees have been accounted for and four people have been taken to the circuit medical centre for examination; one with a minor hand injury and three with respiratory issues.
A further statement will be issued when more details about the incident are confirmed.