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Chaos at Nairobi Airport as flights resume

Chaos at Nairobi Airport as flights resume
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There were chaotic scenes at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Friday just hours after it reopened to the public.

Departing and arriving passengers complained of poor coordination, delays and a lack of information.

The airport’s domestic terminal which has been pressed into service for international flights was besieged by travellers.

One of them Andy Somen said: “We are waiting in line, nobody seems to be going inside. It’s a little frustrating as nobody is telling us what’s going on.”

American tourist Mara Cox complained: “They tell us one line, we get in one line, then they change it to another line and change it to another line, there’s a lack of co-ordination.”

The most important gateway to East Africa had to shut on Wednesday following a massive blaze that destroyed the arrivals terminal and damaged the international departures terminal.

Initially only domestic flights and a limited number of international flights were operating, but the authorities said they could reopen for long-haul flights at midnight on Thursday using the domestic and cargo facilities augmented with tents to process passengers.

Investigators have said it is too early to know the cause of the fire but they have ruled out terrorism. A Kenya based unit of US law enforcers from the FBI has been helping with the investigations.

Wednesday was also the 15th anniversary anniversary of the attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

The blaze comes as a major blow to the country’s economy with the important horticulture and tourist industries preparing for losses.