Minor fire at KIA reinforces preparedness

The fire was reported at 10.30 pm. However, it did not cause any disturbance to the airport operations.

A fire on the airfield side of the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) here late Tuesday night was attributed to a short-circuit. Dubbing it a 'minor' fire, a Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) spokesperson informed that it was put out within five to seven minutes.

The fire was reported at 10.30 pm. However, it did not cause any disturbance to the airport operations, according to the spokesperson. The incident also did not warrant a probe. 

But the episode has reinforced the airport's fire safety preparedness since any bigger breakout could be catastrophic. KIA is India's third busiest airport with an estimated 32 million passengers using it every year.  

Understanding the risk involved in an airport with huge volumes of the highly inflammable stored in aircraft tankers, BIAL had acquired four Rosenbauer 6x6 fire trucks exported from Austria. Three of these are in active service, while one is a backup vehicle. 

In case of a fire emergency, these fire trucks are programmed to be at any spot within the airport premises in two minutes. The trucks are powered by an 18,000 cc engine with 703 BHP, reaching speeds of 80 kmph in less than 25 seconds. Each truck weighs 40 tons and ferries 12,500 litres of water, 350 litres of fuel and 1,500 litres of foam. 

To respond to the threat of a chemical/biomedical disaster at KIA, the Union Home Ministry had recently announced that the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will set up a Regional Response Centre (RRC) in Yelahanka with an estimated 1,000 personnel. A quick action fire response team is expected to complement any such action by NDRF.

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Minor fire at KIA reinforces preparedness

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