Luton Airport fire: all flights suspended from London airport after huge blaze rips through car park
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London Luton Airport has suspended all of its flights today (Wednesday 11 October) after a large fire in a terminal car park caused a “significant structural collapse”. The airport said a car fire had spread but did not give any further details.
Bedfordshire Fire Service said up to 1,200 vehicles may have been in the car park and subsequently damaged after the blaze broke out last night (Tuesday 10 October). Four firefighters and a member of airport staff were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation, while another patient was discharged at the scene.
The airport confirmed that flights have been suspended until 12pm today for the safety of passengers and staff. This morning hundreds of people have been stranded at the airport with no way of getting home due to their vehicles being parked in the car park.
Police officers are on the scene with many trying to direct people away from the scene. The ambulance service said a critical incident had been stood down but it would "remain on scene to support fire and rescue colleagues".
Footage on social media showed huge flames and billowing smoke from the top floor of the building. Russell Taylor, 41, an account director from Kinross, saw the flames after flying into London Luton from Edinburgh. He told the PA news agency: "There were a couple of fire engines with a car ablaze on the upper floor of the car park at just after 9pm. A few minutes later most of the upper floor was alight, car alarms were going off with loud explosions from cars going up in flames."
The airport said in a statement: "All flights are currently suspended as emergency services respond to a car fire that has spread in Terminal Car Park 2. Access to the airport is currently restricted and we ask that people do not travel to the airport at this time. Further updates to follow." It added that additional staff were on hand to provide assistance to passengers, and said they should contact their airline for flight information.
More than 15 crews from Bedfordshire Fire Service tackled the blaze with nearby residents advised to close their windows to avoid the smoke. A brigade spokesman said: “One half of the structure is fully involved in fire and the building has suffered a significant structural collapse. Fire crews are working to extinguish the fire and prevent it from spreading to adjacent buildings and vehicles on air side of the airport.”