Fire brigade says Luton Airport car park fire started in diesel vehicle

16 October 2023
What was claimed

The car that started the fire in the Luton Airport car park was electric.

Our verdict

Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service has said that the vehicle initially involved in the fire was diesel, and not a hybrid or electric car.

Posts on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) have claimed that the Luton Airport multi-storey car park fire was started by an electric or hybrid vehicle.

But this is not the case. The local fire brigade, Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service, confirmed to Full Fact that the initial vehicle involved in the fire was a diesel, not a hybrid.

Andrew Hopkinson, chief fire officer at Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service, previously told the media: “We have no intelligence at this stage to suggest that this was anything other than an accidental fire that started in one of the vehicles that had not long arrived at the airport. It was not an EV. This was a diesel powered vehicle.”

The fire broke out on 10 October, stopping flights for a period. No serious injuries were reported and 1,200 cars may have been damaged.

We have previously fact checked other misleading claims about electric cars, including a photo of a field full of electric cars supposedly abandoned because their batteries were too expensive to replace (which were actually scrapped because their owner ceased trading), false claims an electric car can “self-charge” and an image wrongly claiming to show a diesel-powered charging point in Lancashire. 

Image courtesy of Thomas Nugent

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