Inside fire-hit Luton Airport car park as crane begins removing vehicles from collapsed building

  • Drone images show the extent of the fire damage at Luton Airport's car park

New images show the scale of devastation wrought by a fire which caused an airport car park to collapse.

The mangled and charred wreckage of vehicles - mixed among others that appear in pristine condition - can be seen in new drone footage filmed and released by Luton Airport, where the fire broke out on 10 October.

They reveal concrete floors and steel framework warped by extreme heat, and show points where the entire structure has given way, with cars and SUVs falling several storeys on to the floors below.

As many as 1,500 cars may have been destroyed by the 12-hour blaze, which closed the airport and caused disruption for tens of thousands of passengers.

ITV News' Graham Stothard reports from London Luton Airport.

On Monday, an operation to remove cars from the top deck of the car park began, with huge cranes erected to lift them to safety.

Experts estimate there are 130 tonnes of vehicles on the top floor alone - 105 vehicles, which each take between 30 and 40 minutes to remove.

After being lifted off by the crane, each car is loaded on to a low-loader to be transported to a compound for assessment.

Despite many appearing unscathed, authorities say that the heat, fire and smoke damage means none are likely to be salvageable.

Cars have begun to be lifted from the top floor of the car park, though none are expected to be salvageable. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Oliver Jaycock, director of corporate affairs at the airport, said: "We've been working with the structural engineers this past week to work out how we can improve the stabilisation of the car park.

"The fourth floor, which is the floor beneath [the top], is the most fragile. So this is about removing the weight and that reduces the chances of that being any localised collapsing inside the car park.

He added: "It's impossible to tell the state of the vehicles from the eye. They might look fine, but of course they could have been subject to some very high heat.

"Once they're on the ground, they can be inspected thoroughly and we can then work out next steps."

Police said a man had been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage over the fire at the car park, and had been bailed as police continue their inquiries.

Fire investigators had previously said they believed the blaze started with a diesel car, thought to be a Range Rover.

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