Yesterday a British Airways aircraft hangar, at London Heathrow Airport, was involved in a foaming incident, after a fire extinguishing system was triggered.

At the time of the incident, a British Airways Boeing 777-200ER, with registration G-YMMB, was parked in the hangar.

The photos and video in the tweet below show the hangar floor covered with fire retardant foam. You can see that the hangar was mostly empty of people, but it is unclear if there were any injuries or not.

Fire retardant foam is used in most major maintenance hangars in the world; they have a capacity system which can fill a large hangar within minutes, preventing a fire from spreading to any aircraft and minimising as much damage to the building itself as possible.

Although it looks like a small incident it can be expensive. Fire retardant foam, like the one in the images, is highly corrosive to an aircraft, due to the chemical components that help extinguish the flames.

All the parts affected by the foam, like the main landing gear, need to be carefully analysed and then cleaned. reached out to British Airways, who have replied with the following statement:

One of our fire prevention systems in our hanger experienced a technical issue, causing foam to be dispersed as part of a safety feature. The aircraft was not damaged and no-one was injured. 

British Airways Statement on the incident

In March, a similar incident occurred in Delta Air Lines hangar at LAX.

Article Sources and Feature Image: Aeronews