'Unlikely any vehicles will be salvageable', says Luton Airport after huge blaze caused terminal car park to collapse

15 October 2023, 14:17

Parts of the building collapsed from the fire.
Parts of the building collapsed from the fire. Picture: Social media

By Emma Soteriou

Luton Airport has said that it is "unlikely that any vehicles will be salvageable" after a massive fire caused a terminal car park to collapse.

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The blaze ripped through the airport's terminal two car park on Tuesday evening, causing "partial structural collapse".

Flights were suspended until the following day as firefighters fought to get it under control.

Around 1,500 vehicles were inside the car park at the time of the incident, Andrew Hopkinson, chief fire officer for Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said.

In a statement, Luton Airport said it is "unlikely that any vehicles in the car park will be salvageable" but it was "still in the process of being assessed".

The airport said it had provided the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) with the registration details of 1,405 vehicles and, along with its parking provider APCOA, it had responded to almost 16,500 customer queries since the fire.

It said it recognised it has been an "extremely distressing" time for those affected and was working with the Association of British Insurers to establish the possibility of safely retrieving any personal items from the vehicles.

Read more: 'I've had better ends to holidays': Devastated Brits return to find their cars destroyed in Luton Airport fire

Read more: Dramatic footage shows the moment car bursts into flames inside Luton Airport car park, damaging 1,200 cars

Luton Airport closed as fire tears through multi-storey car park

The airport said the emergency services have handed back control of the site and it is working to make it safe.

A London Luton Airport spokesperson said: "We recognise this has been an extremely distressing time for all concerned and we would like to thank our customers for their ongoing patience and understanding while we work through the many complexities following this incident.

"Since Tuesday evening, together with Apcoa parking, we have responded to almost 16,500 customer queries.

"Dealing with such a large volume of inquiries, while an investigation is ongoing, has naturally extended our response times. "Our team have been tirelessly working around the clock to keep customers informed of developments.

"We have provided the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) with GDPR-compliant registration details of 1,405 vehicles, and they have confirmed the vast majority have now been passed to individual insurers.

"We also advise all customers affected to notify their insurance company as soon as possible."

"Regrettably, it is unlikely that any vehicles in the car park will be salvageable.

"However, this is still in the process of being assessed."

The aftermath of the fire
The aftermath of the fire. Picture: Alamy

The statement continued: "We are working with the Association of British Insurers on behalf of the many insurance companies to establish whether it will be possible to safely retrieve any personal possessions and, if so, how this process may work.

"The emergency services have now handed back control of the site to the airport and work to make the site safe is ongoing.

"Until such time, it will not be possible to provide more detailed information or a specific timeline.

"We remain committed to transparency and resolution and will continue to provide updates as the situation unfolds."

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