Fire halts all Chicago air traffic

Posted at 8:27 AM, Sep 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-26 08:47:08-04

(CNN) — All Chicago air traffic was temporarily stopped Friday morning because of a fire at a Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control facility, an FAA spokeswoman said.

That stoppage included the city’s two major airports, O’Hare International and Midway. Details on how long the flight stoppages would last weren’t immediately available.

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The fire happened at an FAA traffic control facility in Aurora, a western suburb of Chicago, FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said. One person was injured, the FAA said; further details about the fire weren’t available.

Workers at the Aurora center were evacuated, Cory said. A helicopter crew with CNN affiliate WLS flew over the facility but said no flames or smoke could be seen from the air.

The flight stoppages come four months after a similar incident in Chicago. On May 13, smoke at an FAA radar facility in Elgin, Illinois, prompted flight cancellations and delays at O’Hare and Midway.

In that May incident, most flights in and out of O’Hare were delayed by an average of an hour or more, and more than 600 flights were canceled, the Chicago Department of Aviation said. Some 75 flights were canceled at Midway.

The smoke in that May incident was caused by a faulty motor in the air conditioning system, the FAA said at the time.