Mitchell impacted by Chicago airport shutdowns

A fire at a radar facility near Chicago shut down air traffic in the Chicago area for several hours Friday morning.

The fire was reported at the Chicago Terminal Radar Approach Control building in Aurora, Ill. around 5:45 a.m. Friday, according to WISN 12 News, a media partner of BizTimes Milwaukee.

The facility was evacuated while firefighters investigated the report of smoke.

Responders found a person suffering from cuts to at least one wrist, two law enforcement officials told CNN, citing initial reports from investigators. The person is being treated and questioned about the fire, which appears to have been intentionally set, the officials said. Investigators believe the person tried to commit suicide, the officials said.

The fire is not believed to be a terrorism act, Aurora Police Chief Greg Thomas told reporters. It appears to have been set by a contract employee, he said. Two people were injured: the male suffering from self-inflicted wounds and a man, 50, who was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, Thomas said.

A ground stop at O’Hare and Midway airports was ordered during the evacuation. Air traffic at Madison’s airport was also affected by the fire.

The radar facility handles air traffic above 10,000 feet for a portion of the upper Midwest. Flights in and out of Chicago’s airports began moving around 10 a.m., but many delays and cancellations had already taken place.

Dozens of flights at Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport were canceled around 8:30 a.m. according to spokeswoman Pat Rowe. She said flights are not being diverted to Milwaukee at this time, but the four-hour closure of O’Hare and Midway is causing a domino effect across the Midwest.

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display