Police arrest man in connection with Luton Airport fire

A man has been arrested in connection with a massive fire that caused a car park at Luton Airport to collapse.

Bedfordshire Police said the man, in his 30s, was detained as a precautionary measure and investigations so far suggest the blaze started accidentally due to a vehicle fault.

A force spokesman said: “Police arrested a man in his 30s on suspicion of criminal damage in connection to their investigation into a significant fire in a car park at London Luton Airport.

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

“The man has been released on bail while our inquiries continue.”

Luton Airport fire
Firefighters at the scene of the blaze (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

It is understood the man had been arrested several days after the fire and officers believe the blaze started when a diesel car, possibly a Range Rover, suffered an electrical fault or leaking fuel line.

The fire in the airport’s multistorey Terminal Car Park 2 on October 10 was declared a major incident and more than 100 firefighters were deployed to bring the blaze under control.

The flames spread across multiple floors of the car park and caused a partial collapse of the structure.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service previously said as many as 1,500 cars were inside when the blaze broke out and it is unlikely any will be salvageable.

The airport said it had provided the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) with the registration details of 1,405 vehicles and, along with its parking provider APCOA, it had responded to almost 16,500 customer queries since the fire.

Regarding the current condition of the car park, a London Luton Airport spokesman said: “Having worked with our engineers, experts and insurers, we are getting closer every day to making a final decision on what is going to happen to the car park and the vehicles contained within it.

“Working with our structural engineers, we now plan to remove around 100 cars from the top deck of the car park for the purposes of stabilising the structure. Once removed, these cars will be stored in a safe compound and we will contact customers and work with insurers to inform them of the process of recovery for those cars. Only then will it be possible to assess the condition of those cars.

“For all other vehicles in the car park, the assessment remains largely unchanged, which is that no cars can currently be accessed or removed from the car park. The structure remains fundamentally unsafe and the adverse weather over the last few days hasn’t helped.”