Kenyatta international airport closed by fire

Nairobi's international Kenyatta airport has been closed indefinitely by a large fire in the arrivals terminal. Passengers have been evacuated and incoming flights diverted, mainly to Mombasa. Some aircraft parked at the airport have been allowed to depart without passengers.

The fire started at around 05.00 local time but the first fire engines did not arrive until about 07.00. So far there have been no reports of casualities, perhaps thanks to the fact that the fire started in the early hours of the morning when there was little traffic through the airport.

Kenyatta international airport is the main regional hub for east Africa, with flights connecting to other African countries, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

The airport is important not only for the tourist industry but also for the country's flower and vegetable exports.

Although there is no evidence that the fire is terrorist-linked it comes at a time when Yemen and other countries in north Africa and the Middle East are on high alert for a potentially serious terrorist attack.