Chicago Airspace Empties As Bizarre Fire Shuts Down Air Traffic Control

The vitally-important air-traffic Aurora, IL radar facility was shut down this morning when a fire was discovered in the basement, along with a "man with self-inflicted wounds." The Chicago Center facility is one of the busiest in the US, and its shutdown grounded all flights in and out of O'Hare airport.

The fire in the basement was quickly extinguished, and the man's wounds were found to be "n0n-gunshot," though it's not clear at this point who the man is, what the wounds were, or if or why he set the fire.


The facility handles a huge amount of air traffic across the US. To see the effect of the shutdown, check out this air-traffic hole over Chicago this morning:

According to NYC Aviation's twitter


... though it may be a while before air traffic in the area returns to normal.

We'll have more information about the fire, the guy, the wounds, the reasons — anything — as soon as we learn more.


UPDATE: About to cross the US on a plane? You won't leave until at least 10 AM Central Time.

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