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Last Updated: Friday, 6 July 2007, 13:11 GMT 14:11 UK
Airport was 'saved' by fire crews
Group Manager David Adam
Group Manager David Adam praised staff for their quick reactions
Firefighters saved Glasgow Airport from major damage during the terror attack at the weekend, according to the officer in charge of the operation.

David Adam, who led the early stages of the operation, said fire was raging behind a canopy which put the entire building at risk.

He praised the bravery of firefighters who knew they were operating close to gas cylinders inside the burning Jeep.

Some 24 appliances and several hundred firefighters tackled the emergency.

Chief Fire Officer Brian Sweeney commended the bravery, courage and determination of his staff on behalf of the fire service's board.

He said: "Everyone who attended the incident including our First Minister Alex Salmond praised our staff for their professionalism, patience and diligence."

Group Manager David Adam was in charge of firefighting operations at a crucial, early stage of the operation.

I drove along the right-hand carriageway past the front of the terminal, passing the jeep that was on fire
David Adam
Strathclyde Fire and Rescue

He said that firefighters did not "flinch or hold back" even although they knew they were operating close to gas cylinders inside the Jeep Cherokee car.

Mr Adam said that while firefighters poured water onto the Cherokee used to ram the terminal's entrance, 14 colleagues in breathing apparatus went into the smoke-logged building to look for people who might have been trapped inside.

Within 90 seconds of the incident being reported, fire engines from Paisley, Renfrew and Clydebank were on their way.

Group Manager Adam was mobilised three minutes after the first 999 call. He described the scene at the terminal when he arrived at 1527 BST.

He said: "Hundreds of people dressed in holiday clothes were streaming from the building, some walking and some running.

"I drove along the right-hand carriageway past the front of the terminal, passing the jeep that was on fire."

Pulled down

The airport's firefighters poured foam on the burning jeep while some of their colleagues joined Strathclyde firefighters in training water jets on the fire which had spread to the terminal building.

The Paisley and Renfrew firefighters pulled down the underside of the canopy that runs along the outside of the building.

Mr Adams said: "It was my risk assessment that by then, the fire would have set off any secondary device but the cylinders still posed a danger so I ordered firefighters to drench the jeep with water while their colleagues searched the building.

"This lasted about half an hour before the firefighters came out of the building and said it had been searched.

"That was the worst half-hour of my career. I was never so relieved as when the last BA man came out of the building and said it had been searched."

Other fire stations which had personnel at the incident included Milngavie, Johnstone, Hamilton, Govan, Pollok, Greenock, Port Glasgow, Polmadie, Springburn, Kilmarnock, Clarkston, Castlemilk, Cowcaddens, Calton, Cambuslang, Knightswood, Dumbarton, East Kilbride, Maryhill, Yorkhill, Ardrossan, Motherwell, Coatbridge, Helensburgh and Gourock.


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