Chicago flights stopped after fire at FAA facility

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Aurora, Il - A fire in the basement at an FAA air traffic control center in Aurora has forced a complete halt to flights in and out of O’Hare and Midway Airports.

At 5:42 a.m. Friday, the Aurora Fire and Police responded to the FAA Air Traffic Control Center, 619 W. Indian Trail, for a report of a fire in the basement of the facility.

All employees of the facility were evacuated.

Preliminary investigation indicates that, upon arrival, an adult male was located in the basement suffering from an apparent self-inflicted wounds. The male was transported to an Aurora hospital where he is undergoing treatment.

According to a FAA source at the facility, the male is not an FAA employee.

The source, who received a briefing from officials, said it appears the injured person is a contractor.

A vehicle in the facility’s parking lot, that is believed to have been used by the individual, has been taped off by authorities, another source said.

The center guides planes after they take off it also ensures that arriving flights, and passing flights, stay far enough apart.

The fire has been put out, but the fire department remains at the scene.

Employees still remain outside of the facility. One employee was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

Other air traffic control facilities are taking over flight control operations.

Both O’Hare and Midway International Airports are in a ground stop, meaning no arrivals or departures, until at least 8 a.m. due to the fire.

At Midway, Southwest Airlines has suspended flights until noon.

FAA website says that planes departing from anywhere in the U.S. that are destined to travel through the Aurora facility will not be allowed to depart until at or after 10 a.m. Chicago time.


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