The Malta Independent 24 September 2018, Monday

Updated (5): Airport reopened after fire in arrivals lounge causes two-hour closure

Tuesday, 20 February 2018, 14:03 Last update: about 8 months ago

Operations at the Malta International Airport resumed after a closure of more than two hours as a result of a fire in the arrivals lounge.

The first was reported at 1.15pm, with the airport being subsequently evacuated and closed until the situation was brought under control.

In all, 16 departing flights were affected, as well as six incoming flights, which were diverted to Catania. The airport’s flight schedule is now being brought back into step, following the re-opening of the aerodrome. An inquiry is underway to establish the exact cause of the fire.

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Malta International Airport thanked all those involved in the evacuation and subsequent recovery process, including the Civil Protection Department, the Armed Forces of Malta, Malta Police Force, Mater Dei Hospital and MIA’s Rescue and Fire Services team.

The fire broke out in the arrivals lounge of the terminal. Malta International Airport Fire Services were deployed and managed the situation, MIA said in a first statement.

No injuries were reported. All areas were evacuated, with hundreds of passengers being led outside the terminal building, some of whom on the apron. This led to a security and safety issue, which forced the temporary closure of the airport.

Photos/video Michael Camilleri

The blaze was noticed at about 1.15pm and is believed to have stemmed from an electricity box, an eyewitness said.

In a second statement at 2pm, MIA said that the aerodrome had been temporarily suspended. Passengers were advised to check flight updates on www.maltairport.com before coming to the airport. 

In a third statement at 3pm, MIA said the fire had been extinguished. The team was at the time focused on the recovery plan, in order to bring operations back to normal as soon as possible. 

In a fourth statement at 4pm, MIA said terminal operations had resumed, and Malta International Airport’s recovery plan has been activated. The Rescue and Fire Fighting Services team have confirmed that the fire broke out in the aquarium pump room located in the arrivals concourse.

The following are the flights which were affected:

Departures

Ryanair Flight FR2537 to Catania

Scandinavian Airlines Flight SK1846 to Stockholm

Emirates Flight EK110 to Larnaca/Dubai

Ryanair flight FR7243 to Dublin

Thomson flight TOM4267 to London Gatwick

Air Malta flight KM3658 to Catania

Wizz Air flight W63260 Otopeni

Ryanair flight FR7592 to Ciampino

Air Malta flight KM420 to Brussels

British Airways flight BA2645 to London Gatwick

 

Arrivals

British Airways flight BA2644 from London Gatwick

Thomson flight TOM4266 from London Gatwick

Ryanair flight FR8812 from Krakow

Air Malta flight KM307 from Munich

Ryanair flight FR7591 from Ciampino

Ryanair flight FR2538 from Catania

 

In reaction to the above disruptions, other flights may be affected today, MIA said. Whilst apologising for the inconvenience caused as a result of this incident, passengers are advised to visit www.maltairport.com for the latest flight updates. 

 

Photo Demaris Agius

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