A massive fire broke out at a parking garage at Luton Airport in the UK, causing major disruptions for thousands of travelers. The blaze, which engulfed the top floor of the multi-story parking garage, injured five people and left around 25,000 passengers stranded with significant delays.
The fire, which started around 9 p.m., is believed to have originated from a diesel vehicle and quickly spread to other cars in the garage. Witnesses described the speed at which the fire spread as incredible, with car alarms going off and loud explosions from vehicles going up in flames.
The airport’s chief fire officer, Andrew Hopkinson, revealed that the garage was not equipped with a sprinkler system, which contributed to the rapid spread of the fire. Four firefighters and an airport employee were taken to nearby hospitals for smoke inhalation, while a sixth person was treated at the scene.
As a result of the fire, at least 140 flights scheduled to take off or land at Luton Airport were canceled, and an additional 17 flights had to be diverted to other airports. Passengers were advised to stay away from the airport as firefighters continued to work at the scene. Some stranded travelers had to wait for hours at the nearby railway station.
The airport authorities do not believe that the fire was started intentionally. The parking garage, which was said to accommodate up to 1,500 vehicles, did not have any sprinkler system in place.
This incident highlights the importance of implementing effective fire safety measures in all public spaces, including parking garages. Sprinkler systems can play a crucial role in containing fires and preventing them from spreading rapidly. It is essential for airport authorities and other public facilities to ensure that adequate fire safety measures are in place to protect the safety and well-being of both employees and travelers.
As investigations into the cause of the fire continue, airport authorities and relevant authorities should also consider conducting regular safety inspections and audits to identify any potential hazards and address them promptly. By prioritizing fire safety, we can minimize the risk of such incidents and ensure the safety of the public.