Hundreds of flights canceled after Chicago air control fire

Chicago: Hundreds of flights were grounded at two major Chicago airports today, after a fire at a radar facility run by the Federal Aviation Administration, officials said.

Air traffic into and out of the city's bustling O'Hare International and Midway airports was canceled after the blaze at the FAA's facility in the town of Aurora, which local news reports said appeared to have been deliberately set.

The Flightradar24 website reported that as of 2030 IST today, more than 500 flights had been canceled into and out of Chicago, mostly out of O'Hare and Midway.
"Chicago airspace is almost completely empty due to fire at Aurora Air Traffic Control," Flightradar24 said.

"It is still not known when traffic can resume," the flight-tracking site said.

Officials said the fire, which broke out shortly before dawn, was quickly extinguished and that an investigation currently is underway.

News reports said firefighters arriving at the facility found an adult male suffering from an apparent self-inflicted wounds. Local media said the man is being treated at an area hospital, reports said.

Authorities said some operations of the FAA's Aurora center, which is responsible for guiding high-altitude air traffic into and out of the airports, would be taken over by other air traffic sites in the region.

O'Hare, the second-largest airport in the United States, handles more than 67 million passengers each year.

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