A massive fire destroyed the arrivals hall at Kenya's main international airport early Wednesday, forcing the closure of East Africa's largest airport and the rerouting of all inbound flights.
No injuries were reported, said Michael Kamau, the cabinet secretary for transport and infrastructure.
Dark black smoke that shot skyward was visible across much of Nairobi as emergency teams battled the blaze. Passengers reported a slow response by the under-resourced fire brigade, and the blaze raged for four hours before being contained.
The fire broke out on the 15th anniversary of the US Embassy bombings in Nairobi and neighbouring Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, but there were no immediate signs of terrorism. Kenya's anti-terror police boss, Boniface Mwaniki, told The Associated Press that he was waiting for the fire to be put out so that he could inspect the scene before making a judgment.
"It was huge, the smoke billowing, and it didn't seem to be stopping," said Barry Fisher, who had hoped to fly to Ethiopia on Wednesday morning.
The fire gutted the international arrivals hall, where passengers pass through immigration and retrieve their luggage. The Kenya Airports Authority closed Jomo Kenyatta International Airport until further notice.
Kamau said the fire began at 05:00 in the immigration section of the arrivals hall. Inbound flights were diverted to the coastal city of Mombasa.
Latest from Kenya Airways:
We would like to inform all our customers and stakeholders that due to the Fire at JKIA all our flights are currently cancelled till further notice.
All our staff and Customers are Safe and there is no damage to the Aircraft.
5 Flights KQ 117, KQ331, KQ311, KQ863, KQ203 have been diverted to Mombasa and our staff on the ground are facilitating our customers. Within Nairobi, all our transit passengers are being facilitated to Hotels
Kenya Airways will release a statement at about 11am today on the affected flights. We will keep you up to date.
Taken from News24: http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Kenyan-airport-fire-contained-20130807