A fuel pump caught fire at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Friday, forcing a ground stop and hundreds of flight delays at one of the country’s busiest hubs, officials said.
By 4 p.m. CST, there were at least 755 flight delays to or from DFW, accounting for a disproportionate 19.2% of the 3,916 late air travel through the United States on Friday, according to data from Houston-based tracking company FlightAware.
DFW first tweeted about the fire at 10:55 a.m. and said first responders could immediately “put out the fire and turn off the affected pump”.
According to an FAA statement, a fire broke out this morning at DFW Airport’s fuel farm, located on the west side of the airport.
“The fire is out. But the fuel lines are now closed as the airport is conducting a security inspection. All incoming flights are being held at the departure airport due to lack of available fuel.”
At 12:42 p.m., DFW said the fuel pump was working again, but overall operations would be behind schedule for much of the day.
“The airlines’ fuel contractor has restored operations at their factory and they are in the process of shipping fuel to aircraft,” the airport statement said. “It will be some time before tank operations are back to normal.”
DFW traveler Frank Plunkett was startled by the wails of sirens blaring past his hotel on Friday morning, unaware that it would lead to an hours-long delay to get home to Philadelphia.
“I saw all kinds of fire trucks driving to the airport and I didn’t know where they were going from where I was in downtown Dallas,” said Plunkett, who teaches legal studies at Peirce College in Philadelphia.
“But I was like, ‘That’s a lot of fire trucks going somewhere.’ I had no idea how that would affect my day.”
DFW served 62.6 million passengers last yearmaking it the second busiest airport with only Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport handling more traffic, according to Airports Council International.
Maya Brown and Jay Blackman contributed.