Police investigating last year’s hangar fire at the Sabena Technics maintenance base in Brussels have concluded that there is no evidence of criminal activity, according to a source involved in settling the legal and insurance implications.

Three customers’ Airbus A320s and a Belgian Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules were destroyed in the 5 May 2006 blaze at Brussels Airport.

There has so far been no police statement on their investigation and no report from the aviation authorities, but ATI understands that the police believe the cause was almost certainly accidental and have been focusing on the possibility that vapour from cleaning fluid ignited inside one of the A320s while personnel were working on it.

“It is not certain. But it seems that this fluid was being used in an enclosed space which you are not supposed to do,” says the source. “And there could have been a spark from anywhere.”

The outcome of the police investigation is expected by parties involved to be made public around September or October this year, with the technical investigation findings following in early 2008.

All of the Airbus aircraft were owned or operated by Armenian carriers Armavia and Armenian International Airways, plus Greek charter operator Hellas Jet.

The incident happened just two days after Armavia lost another A320 in a fatal crash at Sochi, Russia which provoked speculation at the time over a possible plot to damage the airline – but there is no known evidence supporting the theory.

Sabena Technics was not available for comment.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news

Source: FlightGlobal.com