Uganda Civil Aviation Authority-UCAA is investigating the cause of the fire
that broke out at Entebbe International Airport on Tuesday afternoon.
Vianney Luggya, the UCAA spokesperson has since apologized
for the inconveniences caused by the fire to the departing passengers and
other users at the airport.
//Cue in: "The good news...
Cue out:..caused the fire."//
He says the fire broke out around 3 pm in the
ceiling of the Passenger Terminal Building (Departures area) leading to smoke
in the Passenger Waiting Lounges near gates 2A and 2B. According to Luggya,
they immediately evacuated the passengers and other users as the UCAA Rescue
and Fire Fighting services team put out the fire.
affected some flights such as Emirates that was bound for Dubai, Kenya Airways
that was destined for Nairobi and Uganda Airlines that was destined for Juba
and Johannesburg. The flights were scheduled to depart when the incident
passengers were either boarding, waiting at the lounges or checking in between
3-5 pm. By 3:45 pm, Luggya said the situation had normalized and
passenger operations resumed. On May 19, two jet fuel tanks caught
fire at Entebbe Airport.
UCAA's preliminary findings showed that a fuel spill
caused the fire. Four jet fuel tanks store 7.5 million litres. Air
operators consume 10 million litres of jet fuel monthly at Entebbe
Airport. The tanks are located near the parking lots for the general public,
long terminal and staff. The fuel tanks are adjacent to the main access road
for motorists heading to the cargo and passenger terminal
UCAA Director-General Fred Bamwesigye, said the
fire broke out when aviation fuel staff were draining out the remaining fuel
segments using a diesel-powered pump. He said during the process, which is part
of routine maintenance, the pump’s drainage tube disengaged from the pump,
causing the fuel to spill that triggering the fire outbreak.