ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Monday June 11, 2012 – Two office blocks, an aircraft hangar and an aircraft were gutted by a massive fire that swept through LIAT’s section of the VC Bird International Airport on Sunday (June 10) night.
According to a series of advisories issued by the company, the large fire started around 10:15 pm last night and was not reported as being under control until 12 hours later. There were no reports of injury or loss of life.
According to Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC)reports, residents in the area heard several explosions shortly before 10.30 pm and saw smoke billowing from the facility, located at the airport’s eastern edge.
Explosions were said to have continued to go off throughout the effort by firefighters and tenders from the airport and stations around the island to battle the huge blaze.
According to reports, the destroyed plane, registration V2-LGH, was just over 21-years-old; the oldest of three Dash-8s still in LIAT’s fleet, and it was undergoing a routine maintenance check at the time.
In its second advisory issued at 10 am this morning, LIAT’s management said fire service, emergency and law enforcement personnel would remain at the scene as investigations got underway to determine the cause of the fire. LIAT also said it was working with the investigative authorities of Antigua and Barbuda as well as the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) to determine the cause of the fire.
While flights were temporarily halted at the height of the blaze, LIAT reported that it was maintaining its operation from the VC Bird International and other regional airports and expected all flights to operate normally today (June 11).
LIAT’s Management also requested all employees who work at the LIAT Hangar; Buildings One, Two, Three and Four are asked to report to the company’s headquarters in the Sealy Building to report for work as normal from 8 am this morning.
Source: Caribbean 360