- Associated Press - Sunday, May 13, 2012

BARCELONA, SPAIN (AP) - A fire broke out in the garage of the Williams Formula One team Sunday following Pastor Maldonado’s Spanish Grand Prix victory. Sixteen people were injured, one with severe burns.

The fire happened soon after Maldonado and the team took had taken its victory photo in front of the garage.

Williams team chief Frank Williams, who is a paraplegic, was rushed from his wheelchair as he was giving a celebratory speech. It was his team’s first F1 victory in eight years and it coincided with his 70th birthday celebrations.

Maldonado was photographed running from the garage while carrying cousin Manuel _ whose right leg was in a cast _ on his back. Manuel Maldonado is shown holding Maldonado’s Spanish GP trophy in his left hand as the pair rush to safety.

A black, acrid haze came flowing out of the British team’s garage, filling the paddock and pit lane. Mechanics and track firefighters were quickly on the scene to put out the fire. An ambulance on the scene treated one person for what appeared to be smoke inhalation.

The person with serious burns was airlifted to a Barcelona hospital while five others were taken to a local hospital for smoke inhalation, Catalonia’s regional government. Ten people were treated at the Catalunya Circuit for smoke inhalation before being released.

The Williams team said the person airlifted to hospital was one of its staff, and three others also received treatment.

F1 team Caterham said team employees were among those taken to the track medical center. One had a minor hand injury; three others had respiratory issues.

Williams driver Bruno Senna’s car was torched by the blaze.


Paul Logothetis can be reached at: https://www.twitter.com/PaulLogoAP

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