Fire at O’Hare Airport temporarily closes busy pedestrian tunnel
A fire that broke out Saturday morning in a pedestrian tunnel at O’Hare International Airport caused a headache for many travelers.
A fire that broke out Saturday morning inside a busy pedestrian tunnel at O’Hare Airport caused headaches for many travelers — and forced them close together in the middle of a pandemic.
The fire broke out in the tunnel between concourses B and C in Terminal 1 shortly after 8 a.m., according to the Chicago Department of Aviation. The incident forced hundreds of travelers to closely congregate in one of the airport’s main walkways.
“Enjoying a super spreader event at [O’Hare] this morning,” one traveler tweeted, along with a photo of the crowd.
Enjoying a super spreader event at @fly2ohare this morning. Way to go Chicago. No Plan B for "fire" in the tunnel between Terminals B & C. 🤦♀️ pic.twitter.com/y7P8i6I1rI— MEA (@mannett98) April 17, 2021
In response to the tweet, the CDA emphasized that travelers were wearing masks and that airport employees were trying to maintain social distancing as much as possible.
The CDA also said United Airlines, which is housed in Terminal 1, provided shuttle buses to take passengers to the B and C concourses for their flights.
Jillian Mallen, of Logan Square, rode on one of those shuttles. She said it took her an hour to get to her gate in concourse C due to the incident, though United Airlines held flights for passengers.
“I just feel like there wasn’t a ton of communication regarding the transportation situation,” said Mallen, who was on her way to Virginia. “So [there were] a lot of restless travelers really squished.”
Power was restored by 9:30 a.m.
No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire is under investigation, officials said.
The incident caused some flight delays and a checked luggage mishap for at least one major airline.
Professional wrestler Mike Bennett, who took a United Airlines flight out of O’Hare Saturday morning, tweeted that the fire prevented checked bags from making it to their destination.
Update: Apparently there was a fire at O’Hare so many bags got held up from Point A to Point B. Understandable. Nobody thought the empty luggage cargo was a red flag to maybe delay the flight? 🤷🏼♂️— Mike Bennett (@RealMikeBennett) April 17, 2021
“They didn’t put [the bags] anywhere,” Bennett tweeted. “They said there was a fire so they couldn’t get the luggage to the plane. So they sent us on our way without the luggage. I don’t get it.”
Update: All is right with the world. United gave me toiletries for the inconvenience.... pic.twitter.com/Xha7rm2HRp— Mike Bennett (@RealMikeBennett) April 17, 2021
A United Airlines spokesperson confirmed some flights were delayed due to the fire. The airline resumed regular operations around 10:30 a.m.