Luton Airport has stated that it is improbable any of the vehicles caught in a massive fire, which resulted in the collapse of a car park, will be salvageable. The Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service received a report about the blaze on level three of Terminal Car Park Two on Tuesday. Chief Fire Officer Andrew Hopkinson has estimated that around 1,500 vehicles were inside the car park when the fire broke out.
In a statement issued by the airport, it was acknowledged that it is ‘unlikely that any vehicles in the car park will be salvageable.’ Nevertheless, this assessment is still under evaluation.
The fire, which engulfed the £20 million Terminal Car Park Two, necessitated the deployment of a hundred firefighters, who spent 12 hours battling the blaze. Unfortunately, the block caved in shortly before 9 pm during the incident.
The airport has been in contact with the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), providing them with registration details for 1,405 vehicles. Additionally, the airport and its parking provider, APCOA, have responded to nearly 16,500 customer queries since the fire.
As a result of the fire and the subsequent partial collapse of the car park, the facility remains closed. It has suffered extensive damage, with debris from vehicles piled up within the charred structure. Furthermore, the airport’s Dart rail transit system, which commenced operations earlier this year, remains non-operational.
Investigators suspect that the fire was ignited by a diesel car, believed to be a Range Rover, experiencing an electrical fault or a leaking fuel line.
Expressing regret for the incident’s impact on car parking customers, London Luton Airport issued an apology and acknowledged the distress it has caused. The airport is working in collaboration with the Association of British Insurers to explore the possibility of safely retrieving personal items from the affected vehicles.
The airport has reported that emergency services have now relinquished control of the site, and efforts are underway to secure the area. It is anticipated that Terminal Car Park Two, constructed in 2019 at a cost of £20 million, may need to be demolished.
Experts have raised concerns that if the car park had been equipped with an effective sprinkler system, it could have prevented the fire from spreading, resulting in only localized damage. In light of this incident, a government source has revealed that a major review of fire safety guidance related to building regulations, including research on the fire resistance of car parks, is underway.
While this incident has been undeniably distressing, London Luton Airport remains dedicated to transparency and resolution, pledging to provide ongoing updates as the situation evolves.