PICS: Fire strands hundreds at Malta airport

Valletta - Malta International Airport was brought to a standstill on Tuesday, 20 February, by a fire that left flights suspended and hundreds of passengers stranded.

Passengers were evacuated from the airport as smoke billowed through the arrivals and departure lounges, an AFP reporter at the scene says.

Firefighters worked for two hours to put out the small blaze, which began at around 13:15 and caused no injuries.

Airport operators say 10 outbound international flights were delayed. They added later in an online statement that operations at the terminal were resuming.

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The airport says the blaze broke out in the pump room for the airport's small aquarium, located in the arrivals concourse.

"Terminal operations are now resuming, and Malta International Airport's recovery plan has been activated," says the airport.


Hundreds of passengers were left standing outside the airport and some even on the apron.


One flight to nearby Catania in Sicily was expected to take off 11 hours later than scheduled, according to the departures timetable.

Flights to Stockholm, Cyprus, Krakow, London Gatwick and Dublin were also delayed. Flights from British airports Heathrow and Gatwick were diverted to Catania.

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