Fire at Chicago ATC facility affects Lindbergh Field flights

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Ten flights between San Diego and Chicago were canceled Friday because of a fire at a Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control facility in Illinois, according to an official at Lindbergh Field.

The cancellations were for flights involving American Airlines to and from O’Hare International Airport, and Southwest Airlines runs to and from Midway International Airport, said Rebecca Bloomfield of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.

Bloomfield said another three flights to and from O’Hare on United Airlines were listed as delayed as of late morning.

The early morning fire forced the evacuation of the control center in Aurora, Illinois, about 40 miles west of downtown Chicago, and temporarily shut down all incoming and outgoing flights to the airports, causing a wave of cancellations and delays throughout the system.

Responding emergency crews found the man suspected of setting the fire in the basement where the fire began, suffering from self-inflicted knife wounds, and took him to a hospital, according to reports from the area. The fire was being investigated by the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

A motive for the fire was not immediately known, but Aurora police Chief Gregory Thomas told the Associated Press that the FAA contract employee was not connected to terrorism.

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Categories: KUSI