Sections of Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport were engulfed in flames earlier today. The fire started around 5 a.m. and continued for hours, as passengers were evacuated to nearby sidewalks outside the airport with their luggage. No casualties have been reported so far.
Much of the international arrivals area was gutted and charred by the time the burning had stopped five hours later. Many incoming flights were diverted to Mombasa's airport 300 miles away.
By mid-afternoon, the airport had been partially reopened for domestic and cargo flights. International routes are still suspended and airport officials say they will convert another part of JKIA into a temporary terminal.
Two days earlier, an airlock in the main pipeline that delivers jet fuel to the airport caused all inbound flights to be diverted to other airfields. The problem had been fixed in time for the following morning's flights.
Video report from the scene ealrier today via the Telegraph
August 7 is the anniversary of the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania but Kenya's antiterror police boss, Boniface Mwankiki told the Associated Press earlier today that he wanted to wait for the fire to be extinguished before making any judgement on whether or not the fire was started by terrorists.
East Africa's busiest airport, JKIA handles 16,000 passengers a day and serves a vital role for the country's flower and tea exports as well as its tourism industry.
Below, images from the airport earlier today via Reuters:
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