A massive explosion has occurred in the vicinity of Cairo International Airport. Images shared on social media show large plumes of smoke rising up in the air.
Civil defense authorities deployed to the scene are battling to bring the blaze under control. Ambulances, police vehicles and security services also rushed to the area of the incident.
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The explosion, which happened around 10:30 pm local time, occurred at two fuel storage tanks outside the airport, Egypt’s Civil Aviation Minister said, according to Reuters. The minister also denied initial reports that air traffic at the airport was affected.
While flights have not been affected, some witnesses described the car traffic in and out of the airport as a “nightmare.”
The cause of the detonation and fire at the fuel depot is unknown as of yet. No casualties or injuries have so far been confirmed, a source told Al-Ain news. Authorities are investigating the incident.
Cairo International Airport (IATA: CAI, ICAO: HECA) is the international airport of Cairo and the busiest airport in Egypt and serves as the primary hub for EgyptAir, EgyptAir Express and Nile Air as well as several other airlines.
The airport is located in Heliopolis, to the northeast of the Cairo around 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) from the business area of the city and has an area of approximately 37 square kilometers (14 sq mi). It is the second busiest airport in Africa after OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
Cairo International Airport’s terminal facilities include Departure Hall 1, International Hall 3, and Hall 4 for private and non-commercial aircraft services. As part of the recent upgrading and facility improvement scheme, the CAA demolished the old Hall 3, previously used for domestic arrivals and departures, to reconstruct a new hall to be used for international arrivals. Terminal 1 is locally known as the “Old Airport,” although its facilities were recently given a complete overhaul and are newer than those of Terminal 2, which is still known as the “New Airport.”