Huge fire at Nairobi international airport

Nairobi - A "massive" fire broke out at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Wednesday, an official said, shutting down one of east Africa's most important transport hubs and causing serious damage.

"There is a serious fire at JKIA [airport], but we are doing everything possible to avert a crisis," said Mutea Iringo, a senior official at the interior and national co-ordination ministry.

"Apart from emergency landings, all flights into and out of JKIA have been cancelled ... [the] airport has been shut down," added the official.

There were no initial reports of casualties, but Iringo said the fire was "massive", adding that the arrivals and immigration sections were "totally damaged".

Firefighters were tackling the blaze, while flights were being diverted to other airports, the interior ministry said in a statement.

Images on Kenyan media showed flames rising high in the sky and billowing clouds of black smoke out of the main arrivals and departures terminal, with dozens of police and fire trucks at the scene.

The airport serves as a regional hub for east Africa, with many long-distance international flights landing there to connect to countries across the region.

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