Luton Airport: EV not believed to be cause of massive car park blaze, says fire chief

Early signs suggest the fire was started accidentally
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Bedfordshire’s fire chief has said the vehicle suspected of starting the major fire at Luton Airpor was not an EV.

Speaking to the media this morning (October 11), Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service chief fire officer, Andrew Hopkinson said: "No intelligence than to suggest it was anything other than an accidental fire.

“We don’t believe it was an electric vehicle. It’s believed to be diesel-powered, at this stage all subject to verification. And then that fire has quickly and rapidly spread.”

The fire at Luton AirportThe fire at Luton Airport
The fire at Luton Airport

The fire started on the third floor of the newly-built multi-storey car park by Terminal 2 yesterday evening. The blaze spread quickly, with Bedfordshire Fire Service estimating as many as 1,500 vehicles could have been damaged in the blaze.

At its height, 15 crews of firefighters were on the scene. This morning, the fire service confirmed the fire had been extinguished and controlled. However, the building has partially collapsed and will be monitored by officials throughout the day.

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People have been advised to avoid the area and all flights from the airport up to 3pm today have been cancelled.

The aftermath of the blaze - Photo from Bedfordshire Fire and RescueThe aftermath of the blaze - Photo from Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue
The aftermath of the blaze - Photo from Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue

Nearby roads are closed off and traffic delays have been reported throughout the Bedfordshire town. Arriva is running a reduced schedule until further notice and DART shuttle service is not running.

Four firefighters required hospital treatment after inhaling smoke at the site, but all four have since been discharged, Mr Hopkinson confirmed.

Bedfordshire Fire Service states it will begin its investigation, into what was declared a major incident, once it is safe to do so.

While the fire service no longer considers the scene a major incident, it is still urging the public not to visit the scene.

Chief officer Hopkinson added: “On arrival my officers were faced with a severe and rapidly spreading fire involving a large number of vehicles that ultimately spread to multiple floors and involved a partial collapse of the car park.”

He went on to tell reporters that no members of public were injured and that over 100 responders were called to the incident yesterday night.

In total, 273 flights have been cancelled, suspended, or diverted away from Luton.

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