Flights at Norwegian airport delayed as ‘hundreds’ of cars burn in fire

Flight traffic at Stavanger Airport in southwestern Norway was delayed on Tuesday after a fire caused the partial collapse of the airport’s car park.

Flights at Norwegian airport delayed as 'hundreds' of cars burn in fire
The Stavanger Aiport car park on fire overnight. Photo: AFP

Hundreds of cars are thought to have caught fire in the blaze, Stavanger Aftenblad reported. All flights at the airport were subsequently held.

The fire was initially reported at 3:33pm on Tuesday. The initial alert was a report of an electric car having caught fire, but police later confirmed to NRK that the fire started in a 2005 model diesel car.

Fire services worked until around midnight to bring the blaze under control after it engulfed the five-storey multi-level car park.

Flight traffic was scheduled to resume on Wednesday morning but some delays could still occur, according to airport operator Avinor.

Passengers are advised to check flight information via Avinor's website or with airlines..

Car park P1, where the fire began, can hold up to 3,000 cars and was almost full when the blaze started, according to police. Part of the structure has collapsed due to the fire.

Police operation leader Victor Frenne-Jensen said no injuries had been reported to police in connection with the fire.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg commented on the incident, having been in Stavanger to open the new Johan Sverdrup oil field at the time the fire broke out. The PM was delayed in returning to Oslo as a result.

“It’s going to be a road trip from Stavanger to Oslo,” Solberg tweeted.

She then asked “what’s the best fast food place” along the 550-kilometre journey.

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Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Friday

Find out what’s going on in Norway on Friday with The Local’s short roundup of important news. 

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
Oslo Operahus. Photo by Arvid Malde on Unsplash

Free trade agreement between Norway and the UK expected to be announced

A post-Brexit free trade agreement will be announced between the UK and Norway, state broadcaster NRK have reported. 

Negotiations between the two countries have been ongoing since last summer, and there had been a deadline of June 18th to agree on a deal. 

According to the broadcaster, the arrangement would see Norway have greater access to sell its seafood in the UK, while the UK would have better access to sell agricultural products like cheese. 

READ ALSO: Norway fails to agree fishing quota deal with United Kingdom 

We will have all the details covered in full when the agreement is announced. 

Hundreds evacuated and firefighters injured in forest fire 

Around 500 people have been evacuated, and several firefighters have received minor injuries fighting a large forest fire in Sotra, just west of Bergen. 

The fire broke out on Thursday morning, and firefighters at the scene said on Friday that the blaze was still not fully under control. 

Around 150 fire crews from ten fire stations were working to fight the flames. 

The fire has claimed at least two houses. A total of ten people have been treated for injuries 

Those that were evacuated have been moved to a campsite.

Government press conference

There will be a government press conference on the coronavirus situation this afternoon. 

Minister of Health Bent Høie and Minister of Justice Monica Mæland will be at the conference. Espen Nakstad and Line Vold, will also be in attendance.

We will cover all the details for you in an article later.

Quarantine hotels to continue until after the summer 

Quarantine hotels will likely remain in place until after the summer, according to the Health Director at the Norwegian Directorate of Health, Bjørn Guldvog. 

“I think it is right that some will still need quarantine hotels over the summer. And maybe after that too, for travellers from certain areas,” he told Norwegian radio station P4

There have been a few significant changes to the quarantine hotel rules recently, with travellers from certain countries now being exempt from entering the hotels and those who have received their vaccine in Norway able to quarantine at home instead also

However, Guldvog believes the scheme will remain in place for the foreseeable future due to the risk of new variants. 

In the government’s revised budget for 2021, it was revealed that funding for the hotels would continue until November at least. 

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What Norway’s revised budget means for you 

289 new Covid-19 infections

On Thursday, 289 coronavirus cases were registered in Norway, a decrease of 35 on the seven-day average. 

In Oslo, 93 cases of infection were recorded, 24 more than the seven-day average of 69. 

The R-number or reproduction rate in Norway is currently 1.0. This means that every ten people that are infected will, on average, only infect another ten people, indicating that the infection level is stable.

Number of reported Covid cases. Source: NIPH