Fire triggers panic outside KIA terminal, none hurt

Triggering panic among passengers, a fire broke out at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA)'s F&B area outside its terminal here, early Wednesday morning. However, the blaze did not lead to any loss of life or major injuries.

Although no flights were disrupted, the fire at the recently erected food plaza called 'Quad' did raise safety concerns. KIA operator, Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) said the incident occurred at around 6 am. 

A BIAL spokesperson explained, “There was a fire-related incident at a food and beverage outlet, away from the terminal. Trained personnel on the scene extinguished the fire using fire fighting equipment. No one was injured in the incident and it had no impact on airport operations.”

However, as a precautionary measure and to ascertain the exact cause, an in-depth fire-safety audit is being carried out, the spokesperson informed. “The affected area has been cordoned off and temporarily closed.”

Although the airport officials did not elaborate, preliminary investigations indicated that short circuit could have triggered the fire. 

A video of the episode, uploaded on YouTube by an eye-witness showed fire force personnel and security staff struggling to put out the flames. Heavy smoke billowed out of the food and beverage area, The Quad, frequented by both passengers and visitors alike. 

Located just outside the arrival terminal, The Quad has four zones including Retail, F&B, Flea Market and the Arena. Operational round the clock, the zones have turned hugely popular. However, when the fire broke out early Wednesday morning, not many customers were in the area.  

In January this year, a minor fire had broken out at the airfield side of KIA. Short circuit was later found to be the cause. Any incident of fire is a source of concern as KIA has now emerged as the country's third busiest airport with 33.3 million passengers using the airport in the last financial year. 

BIAL had recently inducted 14 women firefighters into its Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting (ARFF) squad. KIA had become the first airport in the country to have women firefighters.

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