Skip to main content

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

From Khushbu Shah, CNN
updated 8:53 PM EDT, Wed August 7, 2013
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
updated 7:42 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
It was supposed to be a class trip to a resort island. Instead, the ferry capsized, turning the afternoon into a deadly nightmare.
updated 1:31 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
It's hard not to be nervous, standing outside the Ebola isolation wards.
updated 8:58 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Ukraine says it's forces have regained control of an airfield from Russian separatists. Nick Paton Walsh reports.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
updated 5:16 PM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Officials are launching their next option: an underwater vehicle to scan the ocean floor.
updated 1:53 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
How are police preparing for this year's 26.2-mile marathon, which takes place Monday?
updated 1:02 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Katrina Karkazis
Romance is hard, for anyone. For people with intersex traits, love poses unique challenges.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis".
updated 5:26 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
The "kill switch," a system for remotely disabling smartphones and wiping their data, will become standard in 2015.
updated 12:32 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
updated 2:51 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Sky gazers caught a glimpse of the "blood moon" crossing the Earth's shadow Tuesday in all its splendor.
updated 11:09 AM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
A staff stands next to the propellers of Sun-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 HB-SIB seen in silhouette during its first exit for test on April 14, 2014 in Payerne, a year ahead of their planned round-the-world flight. Solar Impulse 2 is the successor of the original plane of the same name, which last year completed a trip across the United States without using a drop of fuel. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
This solar-powered aircraft will attempt to circle the globe next year.
ADVERTISEMENT