Kenya’s main airport, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, has been closed following a huge fire that destroyed its arrivals unit on Wednesday in the capital city of Nairobi.
According to nation.co.ke:
“A major fire broke out at 5 a.m. and a combined fire brigade was still battling it three hours later. The airport has been cordoned off by the paramilitary General Service Unit and air operations suspended.
“President Kenyatta visited the scene at 9 a.m. Also at the airport were Cabinet Secretaries Joseph ole Lenku (Interior), Michael Kamau (Transport) and Anne Waiguru (Devolution).”
The BBC reports:
“Dark smoke could be seen billowing into the sky across much of Nairobi, one report said.
“Shocked would-be passengers stood outside the airport, bags in hand, watching the blaze.
BBC’s David Okwembah, who is at the airport, says many ambulances are going to the scene as well as fire engines.He said a junior police officer said the fire had started at the airport’s immigration offices, although this has not been confirmed.
But multiple reports say the arrivals and immigration sections have been devastated by the blaze.
BBC’s Anne Soy in Nairobi reported the government says fire engines are running dangerously low on water and tankers are being used to ferry water to the airport.
A statement from the airport authority said: “We confirm reports of a fire at JKIA affecting part of [the] international arrivals building and Unit 1 departures.”
A fire and rescue team was being assisted by the Nairobi Fire Brigade and passengers were evacuated to safety, the statement said.
BBC reported that Mutea Iringo, a senior official at the interior and national co-ordination ministry, also confirmed “a serious fire” at JKIA, adding: “We are doing everything possible to avert a crisis. Apart from emergency landings, all flights into and out of JKIA have been canceled… [the] airport has been shut down.”