Work has started on knocking down a multi-storey car park at London Luton Airport – with most of the cars still in it.
The lower levels of the large structure near Terminal 2 were ravaged by fire in October, destroying scores of vehicles and leaving hundreds more stuck. In total, 1,405 cars and vans were said to be in the affected zone.
A specialist contractor has been appointed and the plan is to raze the car park from the top downwards, with cars being lifted out as each level is exposed. Cars on the ground to third floors have been deemed ‘not recoverable’ and will be demolished with the building. Work is expected to take around 16 weeks.
While a number of vehicles on the upper levels survived relatively unscathed by the inferno, the cars have all been written-off and will be headed to salvage auctioneer Copart where they will be assessed and either resold within the motor trade to be rebuilt and put back on the road, or be broken for parts. Completely burnt-out cars from the lower levels will likely head straight to the crusher.
Soon after the initial incident, Luton Airport Operations Director said of the operation to remove vehicles and demolish the structure: “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 attributed to an electrical fault in a diesel vehicle.