Oxford

Caterham Formula 1 fire: Seven taken to hospital

Caterham F1 car Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Caterham F1 team is currently gearing up for the weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix

Members of staff at a Formula 1 racing team factory had to be taken to hospital after a fire.

The blaze in Caterham F1's machine shop at the Leafield Technical Centre, in Witney, broke out at about 22:45 BST on Wednesday.

South Central Ambulance Service took seven people to hospitals in Oxford and Swindon for checks after they inhaled smoke.

The cause of the fire is believed to be accidental, the fire service said.

A team spokesman said all but one staff member had been released from hospital.

He added: "The remaining member of staff will stay in hospital for further checks, but his condition is reported to be OK.

'Swift action'

"An investigation into the cause of the fire started this morning and the machinery affected is already operational.

"Steps will be taken to ensure this type of incident does not happen again."

Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service described the scene as a "heavily smoke logged, single story building".

Incident commander Paul Molloy said: "The swift action of the crews ensured that the fire was confined to a milling machine."

Four fire engines from Burford, Witney, Rewley Road in Oxford, and a vehicle from Eynsham, attended the fire.

The Caterham F1 team is currently preparing for the weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.

The team, formerly known as Lotus, moved to Leafield from a factory in Hingham, Norfolk, in 2012.

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