Fire at London Luton Airport Parking Garage, Several Flights Disrupted

London Luton Airport serves as a major hub for carriers such as easyJet, Ryanair

London's Luton airport experienced significant disruptions on Wednesday when all flights were temporarily halted due to a fire that engulfed a newly constructed parking garage, resulting in vehicle destruction and partial structural collapse. The blaze, which ignited on Tuesday evening, led to the treatment of four firefighters and an airport staff member for smoke inhalation effects.

London Airport

Situated approximately 56 kilometers (35 miles) north of central London, airport authorities confirmed the presence of emergency response teams on Wednesday as a precautionary measure, with travelers beginning to return to the terminal. Departures were anticipated to resume at 3 p.m. London Luton Airport serves as a major hub for carriers such as easyJet, Ryanair, and other budget airlines operating flights to destinations across the United Kingdom and Europe.

Investigators have identified a diesel vehicle as the likely source of the fire, as stated by Chief Fire Officer Andrew Hopkinson of the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service. Notably, the recently inaugurated parking facility lacked sprinkler systems.

Hopkinson conveyed, "And then that fire has quickly and rapidly spread," when addressing reporters. The fire-fighting response involved deploying more than 100 firefighters. Authorities ruled out any deliberate act of arson as the cause of the fire.

A portion of passengers encountered challenging circumstances, either sleeping on the airport floor or waiting at the nearby railway station due to flight cancellations and delays. Nikodem Lesiak, a university student attempting to return to Poland, recounted spending the night at the station and shared, "When we got here, we found out Luton is burning and everything is closed, and we were supposed to have our flight at 7:50 today, but it was canceled."

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Images and videos circulating on social media and British news outlets showcased the presence of police and fire department vehicles outside a multi-story parking structure, with the top level consumed by flames. Russell Taylor, a 41-year-old account director from Kinross in Scotland, recounted his experience after arriving in Luton from Edinburgh.

He described witnessing the initial response of fire engines to a car on fire on an upper level of the Terminal 2 parking garage, followed by the rapid escalation of the fire, with car alarms sounding and cars being engulfed in flames. Taylor emphasized the astonishing speed at which the fire spread and noted that the parking garage partially collapsed during the incident.