Skip to main content

New fire at Nairobi airport after large parts destroyed in massive blaze

From Khushbu Shah, CNN
August 8, 2013 -- Updated 0053 GMT (0853 HKT)
Firefighters try to control a blaze at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, on Wednesday, August 7. Fire engulfed the airport's entire international terminal, but no casualties were reported. Domestic flights have resumed, and some international ones are set to begin again Thursday, August 8, a Kenyan official said. Firefighters try to control a blaze at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, on Wednesday, August 7. Fire engulfed the airport's entire international terminal, but no casualties were reported. Domestic flights have resumed, and some international ones are set to begin again Thursday, August 8, a Kenyan official said.
HIDE CAPTION
Fire at Nairobi airport
Fire at Nairobi airport
Fire at Nairobi airport
Fire at Nairobi airport
Fire at Nairobi airport
Fire at Nairobi airport
Fire at Nairobi airport
Fire at Nairobi airport
Fire at Nairobi airport
Fire at Nairobi airport
Fire at Nairobi airport
Fire at Nairobi airport
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The fire appears to restart early Thursday in the arrivals area
  • NEW: A CNN correspondent sees smoke and a small fire that seems to be growing
  • Wednesday's fire at Nairobi's airport destroyed large parts of the international terminal
  • No casualties have been reported

Editor's note: CNN iReport: Are you there? Send photos or videos, but please stay safe.

(CNN) -- A fire that shut down and extensively damaged Nairobi's Kenyatta International Airport -- a major travel hub in Africa that is crucial to Kenya's export industry -- appeared to have restarted early Thursday.

CNN Correspondent Nima Elbagir saw smoke behind the arrivals area and a small fire that seemed to be getting bigger.

There was no immediate word from authorities about the new fire.

Large parts of the international terminal were destroyed by the massive blaze that broke out before dawn Wednesday. The fire engulfed the terminal, Ken Mijungu of CNN affiliate NTV reported, before firefighters got it under control.

No casualties were reported. Authorities later said the fire was contained, and domestic flights resumed in the afternoon.

Fire breaks out at Nairobi Airport
Fire temporarily closes Nairobi airport
The cost of Kenya's airport fire

Video from NTV in the aftermath showed the burned-out interior of the international arrivals section with the roof caved in.

International arrivals were supposed to resume Thursday from a different part of the airport, according to Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau, but it wasn't clear how the rekindled fire Thursday morning would affect them.

There was no information about when departures would begin.

The blaze could have a serious impact on the flow of tourists into the country and the export of agricultural products. Nairobi, Kenya's capital, is a major travel hub in Africa, and fresh fruits and vegetables are exported from there to Europe by plane many times a week.

President Uhuru Kenyatta visited the scene Wednesday and reassured the aviation industry and local and international travelers that everything was being done to get back to normal, Secretary of Communications Manoah Esipisu said.

"To the thousands of passengers, including tourists, whose journeys were disrupted, the president shares your concerns and regrets the inconvenience. We are concerned that the incident interrupted travelers' schedules and appreciate that they are being routed to their destinations as soon as is possible," Esipisu said in a statement.

Some witnesses said the fire began in the customs section, but others said it started in the duty-free area, parts of which were demolished for construction last week, Mijungu reported.

"The cause of the fire is being investigated. There is no reason to speculate at this point. There was no loss of life," Esipisu said.

The blaze occurred on the 15th anniversary of the fatal terrorist attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

It also came days after the United States issued a worldwide travel alert and closed a number of embassies and consulates in large areas of the Middle East and Africa, though not in Kenya or Tanzania.

In the 1998 near-simultaneous attacks, 224 people died and about 4,500 were wounded.

CNN's Brian Walker and Joseph Netto in Atlanta, CNN's Kim Norgaard in Johannesburg and Journalist Florence Obondo contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
James Dawes: Evil is the strongest word we have to prepare ourselves to kill others.
August 23, 2014 -- Updated 0159 GMT (0959 HKT)
As protests over the shooting of an unarmed black teen calmed down, the question remains: Where's the police officer who pulled the trigger?
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
CNN's Tim Lister: Getting rid of ISIS will be tougher than taking on al Qaeda.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 0042 GMT (0842 HKT)
American patients infected with Ebola are being released from the hospital. What now?
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1048 GMT (1848 HKT)
One of the first observers at the MH17 crash site in Ukraine describes the harrowing scene.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
Five survivors of acid attacks capture India's attention with a "ground breaking" photo shoot.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
In an exclusive CNN interview, Lance Armstrong admits to having a "f**k you" attitude.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 0036 GMT (0836 HKT)
The pain that Michael Brown's parents are going through is something Sybrina Fulton can relate to. She, too, lost a son in a controversial shooting.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1149 GMT (1949 HKT)
Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid gestures during the UEFA Super Cup match between Real Madrid and Sevilla at Cardiff City Stadium on August 12, 2014 Cardiff, Wales.
"We are like one grain of sand against a whole beach," says Eibar fan Unai Eraso.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1022 GMT (1822 HKT)
From fierce protests in Ferguson, to an Ebola survivor discharged from a hospital in Atlanta, browse through the photos of the week.
ADVERTISEMENT