Man arrested over Luton Airport car park fire which destroyed up to 1,500 cars

Handout screen grab from video issued by Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service a fire at a car park at Luton Airport On Tuesday. All flights at the airport have been suspended. Issue date: Wednesday October 11, 2023.
Credit: Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service
It took more than 100 firefighters 12 hours to extinguish the fire. Credit: Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

A man has been arrested in connection with a fire at a £20m airport car park which wrote off up to 1,500 cars.

The blaze broke out at Luton Airport's terminal car park two on 10 October, spreading rapidly through several floors of the building and closing the airport for 18 hours.

Up to 1,500 cars were parked there with the airport admitting days later that few of the cars would be salvageable. Many were destroyed by the flames, while others suffered catastrophic heat or smoke damage.

The arrest came as the airport released new drone images showing the extent of the damage, and an operation began to lift cars from the top floor by crane.

Bedfordshire Police said they had arrested a man aged in his 30s on suspicion of criminal damage several days after the fire broke out.

He has since been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

In a statement, police added: “We are carrying out a thorough and diligent investigation into all potential lines of inquiry, as should be expected after such a major event.”

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

More than 100 firefighters spent 12 hours battling the fire, which forced the closure until 3pm the following day and led to delays and cancellations for thousands of travellers.

In the weeks since, Luton Airport has been assessing the safety of the building - which is likely to have to be demolished and rebuilt - and was due to begin removing cars from the damaged car park on Monday.

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