, NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 7 – The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport was shut down on Wednesday after a major fire broke out at the main building which houses the international departure and arrival lounges.
All flights out of the airport were grounded and incoming planes diverted to other airports to enable fire-fighters battle the inferno.
“The airport has been closed down. Flights routed to Mombasa and Eldoret airports as primary landing,” Interior and Coordination of National Government Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo said.
He said only emergency landing would be permitted.
“Arrivals and immigration totally damaged. The airport has been closed down,” he added as the government stated there were no casualties.
Transport Cabinet Secretary Engineer Michael Kamau said the entire airport would be evacuated “We are working out plans to evacuate the entire airport, this is a major crisis.”
“Do not come to the airport in case you were planning to travel,” he said “The airport is closed.”
Passengers on planes that had landed just before the fire broke out remained stranded inside the aircrafts in parking bays.
Witnesses said the fire could have started at the immigration area, but journalists were awaiting a formal briefing from Iringo.
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