Power cut causes Gatwick chaos

by Tiffany Millar on March 12, 2012

A Saturday power cut at London’s Gatwick Airport caused some flights to be delayed while others were left with no other option than to leave the hub without the luggage of many passengers.

A loss of power inconveniently affected the North Terminal’s baggage handling system on Saturday morning and caused disruption to baggage carousels. Additional staff had to be called in while engineers tried to restore supplies of power to the carousels. Roughly 21,800 passengers were scheduled to pass through the North Terminal on Saturday. While no flights had to be cancelled, some were delayed as others took off without having all of their passengers’ luggage on board.

A spokesman representing Gatwick Airport said that a fault in the hub’s electricity substation caused a string of power failures across the terminal before order was quickly restored. A knock-on effect from the failures resulted in eight baggage belts being left at a standstill until all were fully restored at around 10.30am.

The spokesman said that staff were working hard to clear a long backlog of luggage before adding that flight later on Saturday might also still be affected. It was clarified that the North Terminal’s power systems went down in the early hours of Saturday morning while no such incidents were reported from the South Terminal.

Passengers at the airport used the internet and such platforms as twitter to report chaotic scenes at the North Terminal as bags that came off flights had to be put in piles in the baggage reclaim areas. Peter James, the bestselling crime thriller novelist, tweeted that all baggage conveyors had broken down in the North Terminal and that he was advised to take two days’ worth of essentials with him in his hand luggage.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post: Airbus orders new wing crack repairs after design fault admittance

Next post: Fitzgeralds hotel and casino to be renamed The D