UPDATE: The incident at ATRCC “Chicago Center” involved a contractor with knowledge of the building and radar system who allegedly cut every radar feed to FAA traffic controllers before setting gas-soaked rags on fire near sensitive equipment, which also damaged communications equipment. He also attempted suicide by slitting wrists. The alleged suspect was transported to a nearby hospital and another victim was transported with smoke inhalation.
The interior of the building became filled with smoke. Firefighters put water on the fire, which also damaged sensitive equipment. Significant flight delays are possible all day, and some airlines, such as Southwest Airlines have canceled flights at Midway all day.
Evacuated employees (up to 30 total) were instructed to go home. The FAA, ATF, FBI and Aurora police and fire on the scene for investigation of the incident, which was reported to be related to a suicide attempt and not a terrorist act.
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Aurora firefighters and police responded about 5:45 a.m. Friday to a report of an unknown incident at the FAA Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC), 619 W. New Indian Trail Rd Aurora, IL.
Flights at O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport are halted with a ground stop. No smoke is showing outside the building. Air Traffic control employees were evacuated and were still outside the building at about 6:50 a.m.
There is possibly a suspicious or unusual injury inside the the ARTCC.
Chicago O’Hare Intl (KORD) is currently experiencing arrival delays for airborne aircraft an average of 34 minutes, according to flightaware.com at 7:35 a.m.
The FlightAware.com MiseryMap for O’Hare is reporting 78 DELAYS and 68 CANCELLATIONS between 5 AM and 9 AM Friday, September 26, 2014.
The FlightAware.com MiseryMap for Midway is reporting 30 DELAYS and 8 CANCELLATIONS between 5 AM and 9 AM Friday, September 26, 2014.
One of 22 ARTCCs, Chicago Center works to sequence and separate inbound flights, outbound flights, and over-flights passing over the Chicago area.
As of 7:15 a.m. there was no fire reported at the O’Hare International Airport control tower, as was reported on the Fox News National — Fox News (national).
See current MISERY MAP …
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