Your are here  » Home   » Nairobi

Detectives comb through JKIA to unravel cause of mystery blaze

By By Cyrus Ombati and Ally Jamah Updated Thursday, August 8th 2013 at 00:00 GMT +3
Share this story:
Google Plus
Security officers rush to fetch water to help put out a fire at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Wednesday.  [PHOTO: STAFFORD ONDEGO/STANDARD]

By Cyrus Ombati and Ally Jamah

Nairobi, Kenya: Investigators sifted through the debris in search of vital clues hours after Kenya’s worst airport blaze closed down the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at dawn on Wednesday.

The fire, which is believed to have started at the Immigrations Desk at around 5am, gutted the four-storey international arrivals terminal, prompting the shut-down of the busiest airport in East and Central Africa. 

There were no casualties but Kenya Airways reported “one member of staff and a passenger had slight smoke inhalation and were safe in hospital for further investigation.”

Several police units were deployed to unravel the puzzling cause of the fire that left thousands of passengers stranded and incoming flights diverted to airports in Mombasa and Eldoret.

“Investigations by security agencies have commenced and are ongoing. There is no reason to speculate over the causes of the fire,” said Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau.

Officers from the Anti-Terror Police, Bomb Disposal and Kenya Airports Police units, Nairobi County and CID headquarters are taking part in investigations. Kenya Power personnel are also at the scene.

Early speculation swirled around the strange coincidence of events at the airport such as Tuesday’s disruption of jet fuel supply that delayed flights for hours and last week’s demolition of duty free shops in contested circumstances.

The biggest fire in recent times also occurred on the day, 15 years ago, that the US embassy in downtown Nairobi was bombed by terrorists with the loss of hundreds of lives (see separate story).

Yesterday, police and airport officials said they were yet to establish the cause of the fire. President Kenyatta visited the scene to assess the damage and regretted the “serious disruption of aviation operations at the airport”.

“President Kenyatta wishes to inform all stakeholders and Kenyans that the cause of the fire is being investigated. There is no reason to speculate at this point,” said a statement from State House.

Ill-prepared efforts

GO TO PAGE 1 2 3 Next »
Do you have something to add to this story? Comment here.
Comment Policy
Jamaa mmoja amuua mkewe na kujiuwa, polisi amempiga mkewe risasai na pia kujiuwa
Polisi wawatia nguvuni raia wawili wa Kenya kwa kuwa “wapelelezi wa kisiri wa magaidi” kutoka Iran
Watu watatu wamenaswa kwa kushukiwa kuwa wezi wa mifugo katika eneo la Gitero, Kaunti ya Nyeri
Mcheza Ndondi maarufu Thomas Ojoo Ongaro sasa ni mchochole baada ya kupoteza uwezo macho
Shughuli za masomo zatatizika muhula wa tatu kutokana na mito iliyofurika Kirinyaga
Weekend at One full bulletin 28th November 2015