Massive Nairobi airport blaze forces closure (PHOTOS AND VIDEOS)

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Published time: August 07, 2013

Passengers are being evacuated as emergency crews, reportedly low on water supplies, battle to contain a massive fire that has broken out at the international airport in the Kenyan capital.

A statement from the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) said that part of the international arrivals building and Unit 1 departures were affected by the blaze.

“KAA Fire and Rescue Team is on [the] ground being assisted by G4S and Nairobi Fire Brigade. Passengers have been evacuated to safety,” the statement read.

Scheduled flights at the airport are being diverted to other countries.

“Apart from emergency landings, all flights into and out of JKIA have been cancelled… [the] airport has been shut down,” said Mutea Iringo, a senior official at the interior and national co-ordination ministry.

Images posted on Twitter showed smoke and flames billowing from one of the main buildings at JKIA (Jomo Kenyatta International Airport).

There are no reports of any casualties and the Kenyan authorities have not provided information as to the cause of the blaze.

The KAA said only emergency vehicles to battle the blaze were allowed in the area.

JKIA is a major transport hub and ranks as the busiest airport in East Africa and Central Africa. It is the sixth-busiest airport in Africa.

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