Fire Disrupts Operations at Kenya's Largest Airport

 - August 7, 2013, 10:22 AM

A large fire caused “serious disruption” to operations and temporarily closed Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on Wednesday. Authorities partially reopened the airport to cargo and domestic flights from the cargo terminal by mid-day Kenya time; international flights remained suspended.

The airport, Kenya’s largest and East Africa’s busiest facility, is located nine miles (15 km) southeast of Nairobi’s central business district in Embakasi. According to media reports, the fire started early Wednesday morning, emiting a plume of smoke that could be seen from the capital. The Kenyan government said the fire had been contained and is under investigation. There was no loss of life.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta visited the airport “and was dismayed by the disruption and damage caused by the fire,” the government said. “To the thousands of passengers, including tourists, whose journeys were disrupted, the President shares your concerns and regrets the inconvenience. We are concerned that the incident interrupted travelers’ schedules and appreciate that they are being routed to their destinations as soon as is possible.”

The statement added that information on the resumption of international flights “will be relayed later.”