UK: Echo Arena auto park fire destroys 1400 vehicles

Fire broke out near the Echo Arena where the Liverpool International Horse Show was taking place

There were periodic explosions and flames shooting up the outside of the building as the cars inside burned.

A spokeswoman for the Echo Arena said: "We regret to announce that the Liverpool International Horse Show has been cancelled tonight due to a serious fire in the multi-storey vehicle park on site".

The auto park has a capacity of 1,600 cars, and 1,400 vehicles were estimated to be parked at the time of the blaze, which is believed to be accidental. It was like a gun shot each time. The organizers said they had made a decision to cancel the show with "considerable regret". "We just grabbed the keys and ran". 'We can't get in anywhere!'

"The smoke was really thick and black, and as the night went on the flames just kept getting bigger".

Witnesses said cars seemed to explode every couple of seconds when the fire was at its peak.

"It was really scary, with the sound of sirens everywhere, the noise and the smell".

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Spokesman Malcolm Tarling said insurers did not want to leave customers without transport and would "move very quickly" to make payments.

"If it had started 15 or 20 minutes later, we would all have been in our cars trying to get out of the multi-storey". He ended up helping to evacuate some of the horses to keep them safe. "It could have been so much worse". They saw midnight in the hotel bar, before travelling back to Cumbria yesterday.

In addition to the vehicles, also impacted by the fire was the fourth and final day of the Liverpool International Horse Show.

Mayor Joe Anderson thanked those who had offered to help, adding: "The people of Liverpool never let us down with their generosity and everyone has now been accommodated or given a lift". The blaze started Sunday afternoon.

She was with her family, friends and children in an eight-seater minibus trying to leave the vehicle park on Sunday at around 4.30pm.

Police said all cars inside the multi-story Kings Dock auto park, which has a capacity of 1,600 vehicles, had been destroyed, and owners should contact their insurance companies.

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