Fire breaks out at Alicante airport
A large fire broke out on the roof of Alicante airport today, forcing passengers and airport staff to evacuate the terminal buildings.
Tourists have been urged to avoid the airport until tomorrow lunchtime at the earliest.
Dramatic footage showed flames and thick black smoke at Alicante-Elche while pictures also showed passengers filing out of the building.
Firefighters were called battle the blaze, which is thought to have originated inside an office in the terminal building. A number of flights were diverted to other Spanish airports.
For passengers waiting to board, departures started to leave the airport at around 3pm, but officials warned of severe delays.
‘It’s a joke now been outside 2.5 hours… [the] coordination of information [is] terrible,’ Tracy Cartland-Ward, 53, who was in Alicante as part of a business course, told MailOnline.
‘Some people have left but my baggage was already checked in. Sadly for some folks it’s getting difficult with no water or drinks, no toilets and Costa coffee even putting tables on outside seats to stop people sitting!
‘Oh and to add insult to injury most Ryanair passengers sent a 4 euro voucher for snacks – issuable inside the airport which they can’t get into.’
She added that Ryanair has texted passengers to tell them of a possible seven-hour delay and that their staff on the ground are giving out mixed information.
She said that someone told her the airport could be closed for one or two days.
Cameron Stocks, 26, a barrister at Hardwicke Law in London, who was visiting family in Alicante this week, told MailOnline: ‘We haven’t been allowed back in yet. We have been told there is a 2/3 hour wait to see if the fire is controllable and then we will be told if flights can depart today.’
‘There are now a substantial number of police and fire brigade keeping everyone back from the terminal but information is disseminated slowly,’ he said.
‘There was a lot of confusion to begin with as my group had already passed passport control and were due to board so we were simply herded into a corner.’
Earlier on Twitter he wrote: ‘Airport staff are acting nonchalant and have simply herded passengers into a corner of the terminal without a single alarm going off.’
According to Spanish website diarioinformacion, no injuries have been reported and airport firefighters are still working on putting out the blaze.
A video posted by Twitter user @sotiridi shows columns of dense smoke filling the sky over the airport. Another, taken by the same person, shows the thick clouds and crackling fires erupting from the roof of the terminal.
Airport operations company AENA tweeted that traffic has now resumed around the airport. However, arrivals will not be allowed to land, they said.
There were 125 scheduled flights from the airport today and by 2pm this afternoon, 73 had taken off without any issues.
The fire is believed to have originated inside an office in the terminal building, according to diarioinformacion.
The website added that a plane took off for Moscow at around 3pm but passengers and workers are still stuck outside the airport terminal.
Taxi drivers standing outside the departure terminal said that the smoke over the building was very dense.