Air traffic resumed on Wednesday afternoon at London’s Luton Airport, after an interruption which led to the cancellation of dozens of flights due to a spectacular fire in a car park.
“The runway is now open, flights are starting to land and take off,” the platform said on X (formerly Twitter), while warning that difficulties are still expected to access the airport despite the reopening of the roads. main.
Traffic was suspended Tuesday evening when a large parking lot near the terminal caught fire. Images broadcast overnight by firefighters showed flames several meters high rising from one of the top floors of the building where nearly 1,500 vehicles were located.
Local ambulance services clarified on X (formerly Twitter) that five people – four firefighters and an airport employee – were admitted to hospital. Another injured person was treated at the scene.
Dozens of flights had to be redirected to other airports on Tuesday evening and around half of the flights scheduled to take off or land on Wednesday from the airport served by several low-cost companies such as easyJet, Ryanair or Wizz Air were canceled. This represents more than 140 flights, or up to 25,000 passengers if the planes are full. Many of the maintained flights are experiencing significant delays.
Initially scheduled for midday, the resumption of traffic was postponed until early morning at 3 p.m. local time. Passengers reported that their flight was canceled even though they had already boarded. Others had to spend the night at the nearby station due to lack of access to the terminal.
“It was horrible, the noise sounded like popcorn” cooking, said Marilena Ligea Stan, who had to wait 12 hours after arriving from Bucharest to be able to leave the airport. Robert Saunders learned that the airport was closed while he was on his way there from the southwest of England. “The smell was really bad, there were fire hoses everywhere,” he described.
No fire extinguisher
According to the firefighters, contacted at 8:47 p.m. local time, the fire started from a car, apparently diesel. More than 100 firefighters were deployed at the height of the fire. They were confronted with “a serious and rapidly spreading fire, involving a large number of vehicles and spreading to several floors”, detailed a manager of the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Andrew Hopkinson, during a press conference on place.
This article is originally published on republicain-lorrain.fr