Nairobi airport fire: Police questioned over looting

Aftermath of fire at Nairobi airport, 8 August The cause of the fire has not yet been determined

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Police officers and airport workers are being questioned over suspected acts of looting during this week's fire at an airport in Kenya's capital, Nairobi.

Investigators said some of the acts had been caught on security cameras. Items stolen included cash and alcohol.

The cause of Wednesday's fire at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) has not yet been determined.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has ruled out terrorism but warned those responsible would be punished.

Jomo Kenyatta Airport

  • Busiest airport in east and central Africa, and seventh busiest in Africa
  • Handles six million passengers a year
  • Hub for neighbouring countries as well as cities as far away as Lagos, Johannesburg and Cairo - as well as gateway to continent for Europe and Asia
  • Serves 49 destinations in 23 countries, across five continents
  • Key export point for Kenya's flower industry, one of the country's top foreign exchange earners - Kenyan flowers account for 35% of flowers imported into the EU

Seven police officers, including an inspector, are being questioned over suspected looting.

One investigator told the AFP news agency: "It is embarrassing because some of them concentrated on looting instead of raising alarms.

"We're questioning all of them. Police officers, immigration staff, civilians who work in other areas and even taxi drivers."

The suspects could appear in court on Monday, Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper reported.

The fire took about four hours to bring under control, by which time the arrivals hall had been gutted.

The airport is a regional hub, serving more than 16,000 passengers daily, and its closure caused widespread disruption.

President Kenyatta said on Friday: "There was no element of terror, no evidence of explosions or improvised explosive devices in this incident," adding that "those responsible for negligence will have to be punished".

Operations have now resumed at the airport, with both domestic and international flights running.

Smoke rises from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on 7 August 2013 A fierce fire at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on 7 August destroyed the arrivals hall
The smouldering remains of the international arrivals terminal on 8 August 2013 The cause of the fire, which blazed out of control for several hours, has not yet been determined
People watch dense black smoke billowing from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, early on Wednesday It is believed to have started in the immigration zone
A blaze rages the arrivals hall at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya on Wednesday It turned into a huge blaze that spread to the arrivals area
Firefighters walk amid debris from a fire at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Kenya's capital Nairobi on Wednesday The interior of the building was gutted in places
Air travellers queue as they wait to board their flights at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on 8 August 2013 Air travellers queued to catch their flights the day after the fire
Dark smoke rises from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, on Wednesday The fire sent up plumes of black smoke that could be seen from elsewhere in the capital, Nairobi

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