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Williams Says Employee Still Hospitalized After Formula-1 Fire

Williams Formula One team said one employee remains in the hospital after suffering burns yesterday in a garage fire following the Spanish Grand Prix.

Two employees were released from facilities in Spain after getting treatment for smoke inhalation, the team said today in an e-mailed statement. The injured staff member will be transfered to the U.K. in the next two days, Williams said.

Thirty-one people required medical attention after the fire engulfed the team’s garage as staff celebrated Pastor Maldonado’s breakthrough victory in Spain. The incident marred what was Grove, England-based Williams’s first race victory since Juan Pablo Montoya took the checkered flag at the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2004.

“Everyone at Williams F1 is extremely relieved that this event was contained as quickly as it was and the damage which occurred was, relatively speaking, limited in its nature,” team principal Frank Williams said in the statement. “While the incident was unexpected and definitely most undesirable, it has demonstrated the genuine cohesiveness, camaraderie and spirit of co-operation that exists within the Formula One paddock.”

The blaze broke out an hour after yesterday’s race at the Circuit de Catalunya in Montmelo. Seven people were transferred to local hospitals. The cause is still under investigation, the team said today.

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