UPDATE: The fire has been put out and the cause is being investigated, according to the Kenya Airports Authority.
Although there was no loss of life, “There has been serious disruption of the aviation operations at the airport,” said Manoah Esipisu, secretary communication & state house spokesperson, in a statement released at about 2 p.m. in Kenya (EAT), or 7 a.m. EDT.
“Contingency measures have been put in place to stabilise the situation and to return the airport to normal operations,” said Espisu.
President Uhuru Kenyatta visited the scene in the morning and regrets the inconvenience of the thousands of passengers delayed and disrupted by the fire.
The fire quickly swelled and engulfed the arrival hall at Kenya’s main international airport Wednesday, an official said, shutting down East Africa’s largest airport and forcing the cancellation of dozens of flights.
By late Wednesday, the airport re-opened for domestic and cargo flights, an official said.
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A fire completely shut down the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, Kenya, according to reports on Wednesday.
Reports said that the Kenya Airports Authority confirmed there was a fire.
Airport was closed and passengers were evacuated. There were no reports of injuries or deaths.
On Twitter, a large number of users posted photos of the massive blaze. There appear to be fire crews on hand trying to contain the fire.
The authority said in a statement on Twitter: “We confirm reports of a fire at JKIA affecting part of [the] international arrivals building and Unit 1 departures. KAA Fire and Rescue Team is on [the] ground being assisted by G4S and Nairobi Fire Brigade. Passengers have been evacuated to safety.”
It also said that “so far no casualties reported” and “kindly exercise caution while approaching the airport.”
Kenya Airways wrote on Twitter: “Esteemed Guests, JKIA is closed due to the unfortunate fire incident , all flights cancelled please dont come until we update soon.”
It added: “All flights cancelled,Incoming diverted to Mombasa and alternative airports.”
Citing local officials, The BBC reported that fire crews were “dangerously low” on water.
The Associated Press reporters at the scene said the blaze is massive, noting that the fire looks to have gutted the international arrivals area.
Flights into the airport were redirected to other Kenyan airports.