The 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.
He says the fire broke out at around 3pm 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.
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 happened.
The passengers were either boarding, waiting at the lounges or checking in between 3-5pm. By 3:45 pm, Luggya said the situation had normalized and passenger operations had 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 building.
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 triggered the fire outbreak. URN