U.S. News


Chicago Fire Grounds Flights, Causes Delays Nationwide

Airlines across the country are adjusting their travel schedules after a fire at a radar facility grounded flights at Chicago's two major airports.
Posted at 2:18 PM, Sep 26, 2014

Air traffic was snarled around the country Friday after flights in and out of Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports were grounded by fire at a Federal Aviation Administration radar facility. Firefighters from Aurora, a suburb of Chicago, responded to a call about a fire in the facility's basement early Friday morning.

There they found a man with "self-inflicted" wounds who was then transported to the hospital. 

Another man was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene, and dozens of employees were evacuated as the fire was extinguished. (Video via Fox Business)

The massive scale of the flight groundings was immediately apparent.

TOM COSTELLO VIA THE WEATHER CHANNEL"That map is so telling. Nobody in the air in and around Chicago. You know, the last time I saw a map like that harkens back to 9/11 when they brought all those planes down."

Several hundreds of flights were grounded and hundreds more delayed at both Chicago airports, among the busiest in the world. (Video via WLS-TV)

And the ripple effect was felt at airports across the country with additional delays and cancellations reported. 

The radar facility, known as the Chicago Center, is responsible for en-route air traffic passing through much of the Midwest. (Video via WGN-TV)

Though the FAA approved a limited number of flights to resume after 10 a.m. Central time, it was unclear when flights would resume to normal. American Airlines canceled its scheduled flights out of O'Hare until noon.

And Southwest Airlines confirmed it would halt all flights out of Midway until 7 p.m. Central time.

This video includes images from Getty Images.