Bristol Airport fire causes serious power failure

Affected passengers at Bristol AirportSome passengers were asked to remain outside the airport terminal upon arrival

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About 2,000 people at Bristol Airport were left stranded after a small fire caused a serious power failure.

Flights were grounded with some passengers saying the terminal was in darkness when they arrived earlier.

The back-up generators failed after the fire at 03:00 BST, with the airport reporting “significant disruption and delays” at its busiest time of day.

Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said he hoped the operation systems would be back to normal by mid-morning.

‘Slow progress’

One of the ongoing issues is the failure of the airport’s baggage belt system, meaning luggage has to be processed manually.

“Three flights have departed unfortunately without bags – bags will follow as soon as possible,” said spokesman James Gore.

“A number of other flights are boarding having had the bags dropped and loaded manually.

“We are trying to process as much as we can manually but it is much slower progress than it normally would be.”

Inside Bristol Airport's terminalIt is expected to take most of the day to clear the backlog of delayed flights
A departure information display monitor inside the airport terminalAll flights were grounded between 03:00 and 08:00 BST

Paul Raymond, who is flying to Spain, said he arrived at 03:10 BST and heard the power had gone off shortly before.

“For a short time they were telling people just to leave the terminal building,” he said.

“There was nothing – no computers, no security – nothing is operating at all.”

The fire happened in a distribution panel, officials said, and the failure of the airport’s back-up generator led to a complete loss of power in the terminal.

Three hours later the power was partially restored.

A major operation is currently in place to clear the backlog of flights which had been grounded.

Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said it was a “fluid situation” but he hoped the system would be fully back to normal within two to three hours.

“Clearly I’d like to apologise to all of our passengers that have been caught up in this disruption,” he said.

Passenger Alistair Barclay, from Taunton in Somerset, was due to fly to Faro but arrived at 04:30 BST to find he was one of the thousands left stranded.

“It is just one of those things,” he said.

“No-one’s fault. A fire in the basement apparently so you’ve got to go with the flow.”

Sourced from BBC Bristol

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