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Fire in Chicago FAA Radar Center Grounds Flights

September 26, 2014

chicagoTravelers across the United States faced unexpected delays this morning when a fire broke out at an FAA radar center in Chicago. According to the Chicago Tribune, the fire, which grounded hundreds of flights in Chicago and across the country, was deliberately set but "there are no indications of terrorism at this time," police said this morning.

The FAA ordered a groundstop, halting all flights in and out of O'Hare and Midway airports, the paper said. As of 10 a.m. local time, more than 700 flights were canceled at the airports and nearly 600 were delayed. Southwest Airlines told passengers at Midway that all of its flights there have been canceled until noon. As of 10:45 a.m., the FAA was reporting that flights had begun arriving and departing from both airports "at a reduced rate."

Flights already in the air were handed off to other air traffic control centers. "Airspace management has been transferred to adjacent air traffic facilities," FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said.

Across the country, the Federal Aviation Administration said no planes destined to cross the Midwest would be allowed to depart until at least 11 a.m.

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