Fire temporarily closes East Africa’s busiest airport
Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - 01:11
Aug. 7 - East Africa's busiest airport is forced to close temporarily after fire ravages the arrivals terminal at Nairobi International Airport. Lily Grimes reports.
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Hundreds of passengers are stranded as flames engulf Nairobi's main airport terminal.
Jomo Kenyatta International in the Kenyan capital is East Africa's busiest airport and serves the tourism and agro-export industries that are key to Kenya's economy.
It's unclear what caused the fire but one passenger said he heard two small explosions from the international arrivals area as if from a gas cylinder or electricity fault.
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta inspected the badly damaged terminal building with officials.
His interior secretary said security was stepped up at the airport after the blaze started.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) KENYA'S CABINET SECRETARY FOR INTERIOR AND CO-ORDINATION OF NATIONAL GOVERNMENT, OLE LENKU, SAYING:
"Unfortunately, we have lost the arrival area and a number of offices have been gutted down. It is important to emphasise that we have tightened security to ensure everyone is safe."
Airlines were expected to divert flights to Mombassa, Eldoret and Kisumu as well as to neighbouring countries incluing Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.
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