Fire destroys hanger
Fri 05/05/06 - A fire has destroyed an aircraft repair hanger, owned by Sabena Technics at Zaventem Airport, near Brussels. The fire started during the night and its cause is not yet known. One Sabena Technics' employee suffered severe burns and is currently receiving hospital treatment. Two fire fighters were also slightly injured, while tackling the blaze.
The fire broke out sometime after midnight in aircraft repair hanger number 40.
4 aircraft were in the hanger, when the blaze took hold.
One plane belonging to the Armenian airline Armavia was seriously damaged, two others have suffered some damage.
The A201 motorway to the airport was closed for a time on Friday as were two of Zaventem Airport's three runways.
Despite the motorway having reopened its proximity to the fire means that there were still problems on the A201 during Friday morning.
(picture Belga) The company in charge of running Zaventem Airport BIAC has advised people to use public transport, if they need to travel to the airport.
The Head of the Zaventem Fire Brigade, Pascal Elskens, told the VRT that his men intended to use heavy machinery to clear the rumble.
The rest of hanger will be allowed to burn down in a controlled fire. Mr Elskens added that fire fighters will have to remain at the scene for several days.
Flights suspended for a time
A huge plume of smoke from the fire drifted towards the airports' terminal. People living near to the airport were advised to keep their windows shut and motorists in the area were told not to use their air conditioning.
Brussels Airlines and Virgin Express temporarily suspended flights, amid concerns that the smoke might have been toxic.
Other airlines followed their example and there was no air traffic from Zaventem for a time at around 7am on Friday.
Flights started again from 7:20am, after the Ministry of Health said that the smoke was not poisonous.
However, delays of up to 1 hour are expected for most of Friday morning.
Hanger used for major repairs
Hanger 40 is used by Sabena Technics for to carry out major repairs on aircraft.
The company's Johan Bringmans told the VRT that its loss poses big problems, as it is the only place where major repairs to aircraft are carried out at Zaventem.
The aviation expert Herman Dewulf says that we'll have to wait and see whether or not another aircraft repair firm will be able to take on the work normally done by Sabena Technics in Hanger 40.