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Dhaka Tribune

Former F1 champion, Michael Schumacher critical after ski fall

Update : 30 Dec 2013, 09:00 AM

The retired seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher was in a ‘critical’ condition after receiving injuries to his head due to an off-piste skiing accident that occurred in the French Alps resort of Meribel on Sunday, said his agent Sabine Kehm.

The 44-year-old German suffered serious brain trauma, was in a coma on arrival and had to undergo brain operation in a hospital at Grenoble under the care of Professor Gerard Saillant, a brain and spinal injury expert who is also the president of International Automobile Federation (FIA) Institute.

Schumacher’s agent Sabine Kehm said in a statement late in the evening, which was read to reporters by a hospital official “He suffered head trauma with coma that needed prompt neurosurgical treatment. He remains in critical condition.”

More details about the accident was declined by a hospital official, however more information would be given on Monday.

The director of the Meribel ski resort in the French Alps where Schumacher has a vacation home, Christophe Gernigon-Lecomte, earlier said that the former champion was wearing a helmet when he fell and hit his head on a rock at around 11:00am local time (1000 GMT).

Schumacher was still conscious while being transported first to a local hospital in Moutiers before being transferred to Grenoble,Gemigon-Lecomte added.

The director said Schumacher was conscious but very agitated while being taken to hospital.

Ross Brawn, who worked with Schumacher at Ferrari and Mercedes as technical director and team principal respectively, had arrived in Grenoble, saidBild reporters.

The news of Michael Schumacher’s accident greatly shocked the Formula One community, and the wider world of motorsport, they all shared their prayers of hope on the social network Twitter for the Formula One champion to win his biggest battle.

Britain's triple Indy 500 winner, Dario Franchitti, who still walks on crutches after a dangerous crash that occurred in October and ending his racing career said if anyone can pull through, it's him.

Schumacher's former Benetton team mate Martin Brundle said, “Come on Michael, give us one of those race stints at pure qualifying pace to win through, like you used to. You can do it."

 Another former Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa, who had also suffered a near fatal head injury at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, said he was praying for his friend.

Schumacher is the most successful Formula One driver of all time with a record of 91 race victories in an extraordinary and frequently controversial career which has spanned over two decades.

In 1994 Schumacher won his first two titles with Benetton, the year when Brazilian triple champion Ayrton Senna died in a crash at the San Marino Grand Prix, as well as in 1995.

Schumacher announced his retirement last year after a less successful three-year comeback with Mercedes following an earlier retirement from Ferrari at the end of 2006. He lives in Switzerland with his wife and two children.

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