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Thursday 8 December 2016

Investigators examining if fumes sparked airport blaze

Published 27/08/2015 | 02:30

Passengers waiting to board flights at Dublin Airport yesterday. Photo: Colin Keegan
Passengers waiting to board flights at Dublin Airport yesterday. Photo: Colin Keegan
Firefighters at the scene of the blaze in Hanger 3 at Dublin Airport yesterday. Photo: Dublin Fire Brigade

Investigators are examining whether paint fumes may have sparked a fire at a Dublin Airport hangar, causing the suspension of flights and massive disruption to thousands of passengers.

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The fire broke out in the roof of Hangar 3, which is used for aircraft maintenance, shortly after 7am.

The cause of the blaze has yet to be established. However, one theory that investigators are looking at is whether rising gases or paint fumes may have filled the roof space and ignited when they came into contact with an electric spark.

Flights at the airport were suspended for an hour-and-a-half as fire crews battled the blaze. Around 60 flights were delayed and others diverted to other airports. Yet more were cancelled.

Airport fire crews, backed-up by Dublin Fire Brigade, brought the fire under control at around 8.15am.

Flight departures and arrivals resumed at 8.45am; however, there were knock-on delays to the flight schedule.

The hangar where the fire broke out is at the back of the airport and not near any area used by passengers.

It is used for aircraft maintenance.

Spokeswoman for the Dublin Airport Authority, Siobhán Moore, said: "We understand that the fire was in the roof area of the hangar and was contained on one side and then the emergency services worked on the other side and brought it under control."

Disruption

There were no reports of injuries and everyone who was working at the hangar was accounted for.

Two airplanes, short-haul Whisper Jets, were in the hangar at the time.

Eirtech Aviation, which leased the hangar, confirmed the fire was limited to a section of roofing.

"We can confirm that there have been no injuries and all personnel on site have been evacuated and are safe," the company said.

"The aircraft in the hangar are not affected but will be fully inspected in due course, as safety is Eirtech Aviation's number one priority.

"We are working closely with the authorities at Dublin Airport and apologise to all passengers for the disruption caused."

A CityJet plane was in the hangar at the time of the fire.

In a statement, the company said: "Following a fire in Eirtech Hanger 3 at Dublin Airport... the airline can confirm that one of its aircraft was in the hanger.

"No damage to the aircraft or injuries have been reported."

Irish Independent

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