Fire, London Airport

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Aviation – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd May 1951.

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Photo of Mr Nigel Fisher Mr Nigel Fisher , Hitchin 12:00 am, 2nd May 1951

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation if he will make a statement on the recent disaster at the London Airport.

Photo of Mr Frank Beswick Mr Frank Beswick , Uxbridge

I presume that the hon. Member refers to the fire which caused extensive damage on 27th April to a temporary hangar occupied by British Overseas Airways Corporation. It is not yet known whether the hangar can be repaired. No aircraft were damaged and it is hoped that no scheduled services will have to be reduced; but B.O.A.C. suffered considerable loss of valuable tools, equipment and spare parts. I am not yet in a position to make a statement on the cause of the fire, into which a full investigation is being made.

Photo of Mr Nigel Fisher Mr Nigel Fisher , Hitchin

Can the hon. Gentleman say, so far as his researches have gone, whether the fire appears to have been due to accidental causes or whether sabotage is suspected?

Photo of Mr Frank Beswick Mr Frank Beswick , Uxbridge

I would rather wait until the investigation is completed.

Photo of Mr George Ward Mr George Ward , Worcester

What was the total value of the equipment destroyed by the fire? Was it insured?

Photo of Mr Frank Beswick Mr Frank Beswick , Uxbridge

I understand that the equipment was insured, but I am not able to give the total value.

Photo of Mr Ian Mikardo Mr Ian Mikardo , Reading South

Is my hon. Friend aware that most meritorious work was done by people working at the airport in saving aircraft from the hangar, which deserves our warmest commendation?

Photo of Mr Frank Beswick Mr Frank Beswick , Uxbridge

That is so, and I should like to add my word to that of my hon. Friend.