Kenya Airport Fire: Reopened After Huge Blaze
Inbound flights were temporarily diverted to other airports after a huge fire ripped through Kenya's main international hub.
Eyewitnesses said the billowing smoke could be seen from miles away and stranded passengers were left standing on pavements outside the airport holding their luggage.
"It was huge, the smoke billowing, and it didn't seem to be stopping," said Barry Fisher, who had hoped to fly to Ethiopia but was turned away.
A British passenger, Martyn Collbeck, said he was surprised that the airport wasn't shut down sooner so that emergency vehicles could respond.
"When I arrived there were one or two fire engines parked outside the international arrivals, it spread very fast," said Mr Collbeck, who had been scheduled to fly back to London on an early morning KLM flight.
"There were a couple of explosions which I think were a couple of gas canisters. I would have expected more fire engines to respond faster."
The country's largest newspaper, The Daily Nation, reported last month that Nairobi County doesn't have a single working fire engine, and that three fire engines were auctioned off in 2009 because the county hadn't paid a $1,000 (£650) repair bill.
The fire burned for four hours before it was contained.
Transport secretary Michael Kamau said: "The fire started at a very central part of the airport and this made access difficult. But we have closed the airport indefinitely as we try to contain the fire."
It is the busiest airport in East Africa, and its closure affected flights throughout the region.
The fire comes less than 48 hours after a fuel jet pump failure caused huge delays at the airport, forcing some flights to be re-routed to the airport in the coastal town of Mombasa, Uganda and Rwanda.
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