Flights suspended at London Luton airport after huge fire rips through car park

Flames are seen as emergency services respond to a fire in Terminal Car Park 2 at London Luton airport in Luton, Britain, 10 October, 2023.
Flames are seen as emergency services respond to a fire in Terminal Car Park 2 at London Luton airport in Luton, Britain, 10 October, 2023. Copyright Reuters/Peter Cziborra
By Ruth Wright with Reuters
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5 people were taken to hospital with smoke inhalation but there are no known fatalities.

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Britain's London Luton Airport has suspended all flights until 1400 GMT on Wednesday after a fire in a car triggered a huge blaze. It led to the partial collapse of one of its multi-storey car parks.

There were no known fatalities in the fire, which was first reported to emergency services late on Tuesday evening. 

Pictures of the scene show huge flames sweeping through the structure located a short distance from the airport terminal.

"Our priority remains supporting the emergency services and the safety of our passengers and staff. Therefore, we have now taken the decision to suspend all flights until 3pm on Wednesday," the airport said in a post on X.

The suspension had previously been set to run until 1100 GMT.

The local fire department said up to 1,200 cars could have been in the car park at the time, and that as of 0600 GMT emergency crews were expected to remain on the scene for a number of hours.

"One half of the structure was fully involved in fire and the building suffered a significant structural collapse," the fire department added, while declaring this as a major incident.

A full investigation would be undertaken to determine the cause of the fire, they said.

The ambulance service said four firefighters and a member of airport staff had been taken to hospital.

Luton is Britain's fifth busiest airport after Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Manchester, and it handled 13.3 million passengers in 2022, according to the Civil Aviation Authority.

Which airlines are affected?

EasyJet, whose flights operate from Luton airport, said "airlines are currently experiencing some disruption to their flying programmes."

Ryanair and Wizz Air said affected passengers would be contacted as soon as possible.

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