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Fire at Schiphol airport

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands -- An explosion has sparked a fire at Amsterdam's Schiphol International airport, one of Europe's busiest transit sites, a spokeswoman at the airport said.

The explosion happened in a toilet block in one of the arrival halls next to the shopping centre, but the cause is not yet known, she said.

Ingrid Bouw, spokeswoman for the airport, told CNN.com Europe the fire, which broke out at that broke out around 1000 GMT was "serious" but said no injuries had been reported.

The airport remained open but flights will be affected -- 3,000 flights go through daily -- after departure and arrival lounges were closed.

Fire brigades from the airport and the region arrived quickly on the scene and managed to get the fire under control, but the building was affected by dense smoke.

Airport staff evacuated the shopping centre, which has 40 shops, the arrivals hall and the neighbouring railway station.

"There was an explosion, but we do not yet know what caused it yet, nor how much damage has been done," said another spokeswoman, Marianne de Bie.

It is not clear how many people had to be evacuated from the airport, but departure halls one and two were closed as well as arrival halls one, two, and three.

Some inbound flights were prevented from landing and departures are likely to be delayed on Thursday afternoon.

Flight information is available on 0031 20 601 9111.



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