Heathrow Terminal 1 re-opens after fire

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London Heathrow Airport's Terminal 1, scene of a fire which closed the airport earlier today, has re-opened to passengers albeit with restricted access.

Heathrow owner BAA says Terminal 1 opened to passengers at 13:15 and the first departures were just after 15:00. The first arrivals were slightly earlier. BAA continues to advise that passengers should contact their airline before travelling to Heathrow. It says that there is a delay of around 1hr for flights from Heathrow's three other terminals.

Damage from the fire seems to be limited to the air ducting system around the terminal, and the impact on passenger areas is limited to smoke and water damage, says BAA.

Although the fire took 3hr to be brought under control, BAA says the damage was less serious than early reports suggested.

BAA says Terminal 1's fire detection system allowed the exact location of the fire to be determined, and for the fire service to reach the blaze in 3min. Fireman from both Heathrow's fire service and the local authority service attended the fire.

BAA spent £1 million ($1.66 million) installing a fire-proof membrane in Terminal 1's roof recently, and this restricted the fire to the roof level, says BAA.

British Airways, which has cancelled more than 200 flights this morning, says it will run a full service between 15:00 and 18:00. BA says details of services later today and over the weekend will be announced later.

The level of service will depend on the return of aircraft to Heathrow which have been held at other airports. A handful of aircraft were also diverted to Stansted, Luton and Southampton. It says it cancelled three Terminal 4 flights because road traffic congestion prevented crews from reaching the airport.

British Midland says it will operate a normal service from 15:30, for the rest of the day. It warns that delays may be experienced. If there is a high enough demand and suitable slots are available at Heathrow over the weekend, British Midland says it will operate additional services.