Luton Airport car park to be demolished after fire damaged hundreds of vehicles

A Luton Airport car park is to be demolished following a devastating fire that damaged hundreds of vehicles.

The multi-storey Terminal Car Park 2, which collapsed after the massive blaze, will need to be "fully demolished" and any vehicles parked on the ground floor and floors one, two and three are "not recoverable", said the airport.

Work is ongoing to remove around 100 vehicles from the top deck "to stabilise the structure", it added.

"This has been a painstaking task and has taken longer than expected, not least because we have been hampered by periods of bad weather and strong winds."

The fire was started accidentally last month due to a vehicle fault, Sky News understands.

A man in his 30s was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage in connection with the incident.

It is believed the man, who has been released on bail, was arrested as a precaution.

Andrew Hopkinson, chief fire officer with Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said as many as 1,500 vehicles were in the car park at the time - with up to 1,200 believed to be damaged.

The service said it received a report of a car fire on level three at 8.47pm on 10 October.

Fifteen fire appliances and more than 100 firefighters were deployed.

Three firefighters and a member of airport staff were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation, and another firefighter was treated at the scene.

The airport also said most insurance claims have been settled.

"On behalf of everyone at London Luton Airport... would like to thank you for your patience and understanding as we have worked through this unprecedented situation," the airport concluded.

The fire caused the cancellation and delays of dozens of flights at Luton airport, affecting tens of thousands of passengers.

One witness told Sky News: "You could hear cars exploding."

Another witness said his vehicle was one of those inside the car park.

He said he was inside the airport when the fire broke out, but knows his car has been affected as "all Car Park 2 is completely finished".