Gatwick Airport delay warning as lightning strikes control tower

Ruth Doherty

Passengers are being warned to expect delays at Gatwick Airport, and on the Gatwick Express train after lighting struck its control tower and caused signalling problems.

Th airport said the tower was struck at 14:00 during thunderstorms that broke out in the South East.

A spokeswoman explained that arrivals were not affected but that departures were delayed by the strike, weather conditions, and surges on the local power grid.

The spokesperson told the BBC: 'There is no damage, as far as I'm aware, and no injuries.

'Everything is up and running and has been since 1445 BST. Departing flights were suspended momentarily for 25 minutes.'

A spokeswoman for the National Air Traffic Services (Nats) said: 'One part of the system was knocked out for about 10 minutes.

'The lightning had a minor effect but the main reason for the delays was the thunder storms, which the pilots want to fly round rather than through.'

There has also been a delay warning to passengers on the Gatwick Express, between the airport and London Victoria station, after lightning strikes caused signalling problems.

Meanwhile, Southern Railway has also said its services are disrupted. The firm warned on its website: 'It is estimated that passengers should expect delays of up to 40 minutes currently in the Gatwick/Three Bridges area with short notice alterations and cancellations.

'Southern services are being severely disrupted on the Brighton Main Line between Gatwick Airport and Three Bridges due to a lightning strike between Horley and Three Bridges.'

And the lightning's not just causing travel chaos - firefighters have been called to a house in Crawley after a fire broke out, believed to have been caused by a lightning bolt.

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