Fire impacting Chicago flights causing issues at Metro

Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News

Romulus — A fire at an air traffic control facility that shut down Chicago’s O'Hare and Midway airports Friday morning is having a rebound effect at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

At least 20 arriving/departing flights for Chicago have been canceled as of 10:30 a.m. Friday.

“We have noted a number of cancellations to and from Chicago,” said Metro Airports spokesman Mike Conway. “Things have definitely slowed down. I would strongly advise to check the flight status if you’re planning on flying to Chicago or driving to Metro to pick someone up.”

A check of flights arriving from Chicago showed six cancellations as of 10:30 a.m. A check of flights departing to Chicago as of 10:30 a.m. showed 15 cancellations.

The fire started in the basement of the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center, located in Aurora, about 40 miles west of Chicago.

To date the fire has caused the cancellation of more than 500 flights to and from Chicago and that number is expected to grow. To add a bit of mystery to the situation, a man was found in the basement of the facility suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

He has been hospitalized along an employee who suffered smoke inhalation.

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