A huge fire has ravaged the main international airport in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) – a key regional hub – has been closed, passengers evacuated and incoming flights diverted.
The fire is now said to have been contained but there have been reports that it took emergency services a long time to respond.
Images from the scene showed flames leaping from one of the main buildings.
There have been no reports of any casualties and the cause of the fire is not clear.
Additional concerns were raised in that the group of Episcopalians that had been in Kenya were scheduled to fly out for home today. House of Deputies President Gay Jennings updated those who were worried on Facebook:
Gay Clark Jennings:
I just heard from Rebecca Wilson that Jon M. Richardson, Jim Naughton, Jacob Bilich, Ellie Rolfes Rencher, and Rebecca are all okay in Nairobi, Kenya. They are scheduled to fly from Nairobi to Washington, D.C. today and their 6 pm flight (currently 4 pm in Nairobi) is still scheduled to depart. They will stay in a hotel tonight if necessary. I will keep everyone posted. Please keep them in your prayers.
Perhaps sensing an American interest angle to the story, the New York Times interviewed the group (the article has since been revised without their quotes, but the Cafe’s Jim Naughton gives a good recap):
I suspect that we had “human interest angle” written all over us when Reuben Kyama of The New York Times spotted us trying to get updated information on our cancelled flights at the Nairobi airport a few hours ago. Rebecca Wilson, Jacob Bilich, Ellie Rolfes Rencher, Jon M. Richardson, Lowell Grisham and I are all safely ensconced in a Nairobi hotel waiting for new flight info. Meanwhile, Alice Naughton’s 80th birthday made it into the international news section of the Times.
Just in case Jim doesn’t make it back in time, we at the Cafe wish Alice Naughton a Happy Birthday (this Saturday), along with Happy 60TH Anniversary to her and Frank Naughton (tomorrow) as well!!!
Safe travel to all, and prayers and blessings to the people who work at the airport.