Kenya shuts down main airport amid huge fire

The Kenyan government on Wednesday shut down the country's main airport after a huge fire engulfed the international arrival section and paralyzed daily operations.
Firefighters struggled to contain the flames, which started at around 04:30 a.m. local time (0130 GMT).  Photo Xinhua.
Firefighters struggled to contain the flames, which started at around 04:30 a.m. local time (0130 GMT). Photo Xinhua.

The Kenyan government on Wednesday shut down the country's main airport after a huge fire engulfed the international arrival section and paralyzed daily operations.

Interior Ministry Provincial Secretary Mutea Iringo said all flights in and out of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, with the exception of emergency landings, have been cancelled until the situation is normalised.

 

"The fire is massive. We have overwhelming support but it has affected the arrivals. Arrivals and immigration were totally damaged. The airport has been closed down," Iringo said as fire fighters struggled to contain the flames, which started at around 04:30 a.m. local time (0130 GMT).

 

"We wish to advise anyone planning to travel through JKIA to contact their carriers before leaving the house," Iringo said.

 

All flights were now re-routed to Mombasa International and Eldoret airport.

Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) Disaster Risk Reduction Officer Daniel Mutinda told Xinhua that the immigration section of the busy airport has been cordoned off.

The cause of the fire has not been established and no casualties were reported so far, Mutinda said.

Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) spokesman Dominic Ngige said the fire charred part of the international arrivals building and Unit 1 which handles departure procedures.

"KAA fire and rescue team is on ground being assisted by G4S and Nairobi Fire Brigade. Passengers have been evacuated to safety," Ngige said.

Xinhua

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