Kenya's main international airport is closed today after a “very severe” fire engulfed the regional hub.
Hundreds of passengers were left stranded outside Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as officials evacuated the entire complex. There have been no reports of casualties.
The cause of the inferno is unknown but it is thought to have started at around 05.00 local time in the airport’s arrivals and immigration area. That building is now believed to have been completely destroyed.
Incoming flights have been diverted to other airports in the region while many long-haul services were cancelled on Wednesday including two British Airways flights(BA64: Nairobi-Heathrow; BA65 Heathrow-Nairobi).
Kenya Airways said that its overnight flight from Heathrow (KQ101) would be arriving in Nairobi on Thursday morning (August 8) as scheduled and will be processed through the airport's domestic terminal. But today's flight from Paris Charles De Gaulle (KQ113) will be diverted to Mombasa with an arrival time of 23.45.
Kenya Airports Authority, the airport's operator, said in a statement: "There has been serious disruption of the aviation operations at the airport. Contingency measures have been put in place to stabilise the situation and to return the airport to normal operations.
"We expect cargo and domestic services to resume from this airport this afternoon. They will operate from the cargo terminal.
"A timeframe for the resumption of international flights will be relayed later. However, the Kenya Civil Aviation has granted clearance for the use of Unit 3 for international departures and arrivals.
"We want to guarantee the safety and security of all passengers, and that is our most important consideration at this time."
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