4 hurt in airport blaze, long flight delays
5 May 2006 (second update), BRUSSELS — A fire destroyed a hanger at Zaventem Airport on Thursday night, leading to massive flight delays at the Brussels international airport on Friday.
5 May 2006 (second update)
BRUSSELS — A fire destroyed a hanger at Zaventem Airport on Thursday night, leading to massive flight delays at the Brussels international airport on Friday.
Initially, all flights were cancelled, but flights were later resumed when it was confirmed the smoke from the fire was not toxic.
Media reports at about 1pm on Friday said flight delays were expected to continue all day.
The fire broke out at about midnight on Thursday in hangar 40, a shed owned by Sabena Technics where airplanes undergo maintenance works.
Phase three of the regional disaster plan was put into action and airport fire fighters were given assistance by the Zaventem, Brussels, Vilvoorde and Leuven fire brigades
The A201 access road to the airport was temporarily sealed off.
Four people were injured. A worker with Sabena Technics suffered serious burns injuries and was rushed to the military hospital of Neder-over-Heembeek.
Three firefighters suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene.
The fire brigade eventually brought the blaze under control, but could not prevent the roof of the hanger caving in. Firefighters are now letting the debris burn itself out under control.
Four planes that were in the hanger have been damaged. Two of them, an aircraft from the Armenian airline Armavia and a C-130 transport plane, were destroyed.
Despite the fact the hangar is situated a good distance away from the passenger terminal and runways, delays were being reported to flights on Friday nonetheless.
All flights were initially cancelled due to initial fears that the smoke from the fire contained toxic chemicals.
But it was confirmed shortly before 8am that the smoke was not dangerous and flights resumed.
The baggage handling section, which also experienced delays due to the smoke, is also now operating as normal.
Due to the fact that the hangar was situated close to the A201, a decision was made to close the road.
Airport operator BIAC had earlier advised passengers on Friday morning to travel to the airport by train. The airport is now accessible as normal.
Passengers with questions can contact the Passenger Information Centre by phone on 02 753 7300.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news