Got a call fromÂ a friendÂ yesterady, he was meant to travel to Port Harcourt from Lagos, but he was delayed in Lagos, the control tower was on fire he said. This morning, the story has hit the headlines, with stories of the fire, which was however, quickly contained, and flights resumed in the afternoon, with an obvious backlog.
Apart from all local flights (remember, Lagos local airport was comlpetely burnt down about 3 years ago, and is currently being rebuilt), international flights were also affected. A Ghana Airways aircraft had to return to Accra, as there was no way it coud land. The Virgin Atlantic plane bound for London was delayed for a few hours, but eventually took off at 1pm(oringinally scheduled for 10.20am). At the time the fire broke out, London-bound passengers who were billed to travel on Virgin Atlantic flight were already undergoing the routine screening and this had to be suspended immediately.The passengers scurried out of the check-in counters of the departure hall, most of them dragging their luggage to the outside basement. Senior Special Assistant on Aviation to President Olusegun Obasanjo, Capt. Shehu Usman Iyal flew in from Abuja to ascertain the extent of damage the fire caused.
The fire was caused by an electrical fault. NEPA (Nigerian Electric Power Authority) once again is to blame. After taking power from the airport, power was restored, but it was an overload, which caused a panel to 'light up'. Read about this here and here.