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.
+ + + + + +
Kane County Chronicle is reporting on their official Facebook page that Aurora Police Department reported the following:
Aurora Fire and Police responded about 5:45 a.m. Friday to the FAA Air Traffic Control Center, 619 W. Indian Trail, for a report of a fire in the basement of the facility. Preliminary investigation indicates that, upon arrival, an adult male was located in the basement suffering from apparent self-inflicted (non gunshot) wounds. The male was transported to an Aurora hospital where he is undergoing treatment. The fire has been extinguished.
Approximately 15 to 30 employees at the center were evacuated. One other employee, and adult male, approximately 50 years old, was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.
— Aurora Police Department
NBC SKy 5 over the scene at ARTCC “Chicago Center” Aurora …
— Mike Lorber (@NBCSky5) September 26, 2014
ORD in ground stop due to fire at FAA air traffic center in Aurora, IL. Confirm flight status w airlines. Updates to follow.
— O'Hare Intl. Airport (@fly2ohare) September 26, 2014
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.
See current MISERY MAP …
Flights at O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport were halted with a ground stop.
Aurora firefighters and police responded to a report of an unknown incident at the FAA Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC), 619 W. New Indian Trail Rd Aurora, IL. 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.
ARTCC is a regional radar center that control aircraft before it is handed off to specific airports or as aircraft leaves the jurisdiction of specific airports.
One of 22 ARTCCs, Chicago Center works to sequence and separate inbound flights, outbound flights, and over-flights passing over the Chicago area.
Stay informed with news from The Cardinal’s Emergencies Behind the Scenes Facebook page — Facebook.com/CardinalEmergencies. Includes links to favorite public safety and emergency rescuers and product manufacturers and safety companies that have facebook pages. Submit your pictures or just stay up-to-date on with fire, rescue, EMS and police photo galleries. Please add your public safety photo to the wall album — go direct to the Arlington Cardinal Emergencies Behind the Scenes photos. For a list of all of The Cardinal Facebook fan pages, go to Arlingtoncardinal.com/about/facebook …