Heavy smoke from baggage belt closes claim area at Orlando International Airport

Passengers safe after fire, authorities say


ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando International Airport officials are trying to figure out what sparked a fire in the baggage belt system Sunday.

A fire was reported around 4:40 p.m. Sunday, coming from the curbside bag check-in at terminal B of the airport.

Deputy Executive Director Ronald Lewis said there is no word on a cause, but equipment failure is likely to blame.

The small fire affected three travelers on three airlines: United, Spirit and US Airways.

The airport reported minor delays as the damaged area impacted the conveyor belt carrying bags going onto flights and off.

Hundreds of people arriving to Orlando said they waited at least an hour for their bags. Traveler Alyson Jun, told WKMG-TV, "Mass chaos, absolute mass chaos. We've never waited this long anywhere and it's just chaos."

A section of the baggage claim area remains closed on Monday as crews work to retile the ceiling, put in a new carpet and investigate the fire. Officials said it will take several days to make the necessary repairs.

The area encompasses belts 20-23. Arriving bags have been moved to 24, 26 and 27.

Officials did not know if any bags were damaged, but no injuries were reported.

The ticket counters for the impacted airlines are back to normal, so departing flights should not be affected.

There is no damage estimate right now and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.