Subscribe

Rome airport slowly reopens after 'very violent' terminal fire

A police source told Reuters there was no indication that the fire was the result of arson, but an investigation was continuing.

  • close
    Amateur video shows a large blaze engulfing the main terminal at Rome's international airport overnight Wednesday.
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

Rome's main Fiumicino airport was gradually reopening on Thursday after a fire badly damaged the main international terminal building and forced the cancellation of dozens of flights, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded.

The airport, Italy's busiest with 39 million passengers in 2014, was shut down when the blaze started in Terminal 3 just after midnight (2200 GMT).

As services slowly resumed, travelers, some of whom had to carry their luggage for up to a kilometer because of previous road closures, were being sent to other terminals, where they experienced long delays.

The fire, which one official called "very violent," sent thick clouds of smoke billowing out of the building until mid-morning. It was believed to have been started by a short circuit in an electrical cabin that was under maintenance in an area of shops, an airport official told reporters.

A police source said there was no indication that the fire was the result of arson, but an investigation was continuing.

At least three people suffered smoke inhalation, a fire brigade official said, adding that the situation might have been much worse had the fire broken out during the day, when the terminal is crowded. A number of shops were seriously damaged.

"We got here and there was just a cloud of smoke and a terrible smell, the air was so bad we couldn't breathe. There weren't any masks or anything," said passenger Andrea Lauretti.

Alitalia, Italy's national carrier which earlier had canceled all flights to and from Fiumicino except some inter-continental arrivals, said check-in procedures would be moved to Terminal 1 until further notice.

Passengers who had arrived for early morning flights were not allowed inside any of the terminals. The main highway linking the airport to Rome was closed during the night and the train service from the city center was suspended.

The airport is almost wholly owned by Italian infrastructure company Atlantia. Sources said this week that Atlantia had received expressions of interest to buy a 15 percent stake in its airport unit Aeroporti di Roma (AdR), which runs Rome's two main airports.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK