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Report reveals cause of huge Luton Airport car park fire

A huge blaze inside a multi-storey car park at Luton Airport started by accident, a new report has found.

An investigation by Bedfordshire Police and Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service into last October’s fire discovered that ‘all evidence’ pointed towards the cause most probably ‘being an electrical fault or component failure’ in the engine bay while the vehicle was moving.

The fire and rescue service said in a statement that the cause was accidental.

According to the report, the owner tried to stop the fire but it spread to other components and then to other parked vehicles.

The report also concluded that the car had a diesel engine, and stated that ‘it was not a mild hybrid, plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle’, quashing widespread internet claims that the blaze was started by a battery-powered model.

The massive fire destroyed more than 1,400 cars on October 10 and was declared a major incident, with over 100 firefighters tackling it at its height. The flames also spread across multiple floors of the car park, causing a partial collapse of the structure.

The scene after the blaze at Luton Airport’s Terminal Car Park 2

(PA Wire)

The incident saw aircraft grounded until the next day.

At the time, Luton Airport said it had provided the Motor Insurers’ Bureau with the registration details of 1,405 vehicles and, along with parking provider APCOA, had responded to almost 16,500 customer queries since the fire.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service says that a full incident report is expected to be published during the summer.

Between 40,000 and 50,000 passengers are thought to have been affected by 273 suspended, cancelled or diverted flights.

A Polish family on holiday in London told how they slept on the floor at Luton Airport as a result of the fire.

Gregorz Szmit, 46, said their flight to Gdansk should have departed at 9.50pm on the Tuesday but then left at 7.30pm on Wednesday.

Mr Szmit, speaking from the terminal building where he is waiting with his wife and their two sons, aged seven and 15, said: “We were on holiday for five days to visit London – British Museum, Trafalgar Square. This is difficult, I must say.

“This is our first journey to England, to London. It’s been an adventure.”

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