Pictures: Probe begins into Sabena Technics hangar fire

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By Kerry Ezard in London

Sabena Technics believes the fire that burned down one of its maintenance hangars at Brussels airport, destroying four aircraft, will have only a minor effect on its operations as investigations begin into the cause of the blaze.

The hangar was completely destroyed in the fire, which buckled the roof and structure (pictured below).

sabena technics destroyed hangar w445
© Kenny Vinckbooms 

The company says the it is “rescheduling its maintenance tasks to ensure continuity” and is relocating heavy maintenance activities to its other hangars.

The spokeswoman confirms that the fire, which broke out at 00:00 last night, destroyed three Airbus A320s. One A320 was operated by Armenian carrier Armavia, another by compatriots Armenian International Airways and a third by Greek charter operator Hellas Jet. A Belgian armed forces Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules was also lost.

The company is not disclosing the registration numbers of the aircraft involved, but a spokesman for Hellas Jet confirms that one of its A320s, a three-year old jet registered SX-BVB and leased from CIT Group, is among the aircraft destroyed in the blaze.

Armenian International Airways has a single A320, a 13-year old example registered EK-32001, which has recently been operated on behalf of Tunisian carrier Tuninter and Air Arabia.

The Armavia A320 involved is reported to be a ten-year old model, bearing registration EK-32010. The fire comes just days after the carrier lost an A320 in the Black Sea, killing 113 on board, as the jet attempted to land at Sochi Airport in Russia.

Belgian armed forces air command operates eleven Hercules, registrations running sequencially from CH-10 to CH-12. It is not yet known which C-130 was destroyed. 

Sabena Technics says there is no indication as to what caused the fire, adding that an investigation is continuing and that a clearer picture should emerge “in a matter of days”.