A terror attack may have been the reason of a major fire at Nairobi’s International airport. As reported first on eTN earlier a fire at Nairobi, Kenya airport destructed the arrival area, which also housed customs and immigration services, international arrivals will only resume once the logistics have been put into place to process arriving passengers through the digital/electronic data capture systems of immigration and customs inspections and inbound baggage screening have been restored.
Kenya’s anti-terror police wants to wait for the fire to be extinguished before making a judgment about whether terrorism had been involved. Kenya is a key Western ally.
A statement made in Nairobi at 13:35 today indicates that cargo operations at the cargo terminal and domestic flights, operating in and out of Unit 3, will resume later today, covering Mombasa, Malindi, Eldoret and Kisumu.
The blaze shut down one of East Africa’s most important transportation hubs, with only emergency landings permitted. The fire started at around 5 a.m., when many flights to and from Europe and elsewhere are scheduled. It was contained after several hours, Kenyan officials said, but there was no indication of when the airport would reopen.
The airport handles 16,000 passengers a day, officials said.
Many incoming flights were diverted to the Indian Ocean coastal city of Mombasa.
The fire came less than two days after problems with a fuel jet pump forced the diversion of flights to other regional airports including those of Mombasa, Entebbe International Airport in Uganda and Kigali International Airport in Rwanda, Reuters reported.
The blaze sent a plume of black smoke that was visible from the Kenyan capital a few miles away, witnesses said. Reporters from The Associated Press at the scene said stranded passengers stood on sidewalks outside the airport with their luggage in hand, and that the international arrivals hall had been gutted.
News reports said some emergency vehicles heading for the blaze got bogged down in rush-hour traffic on the airport road.