Fire damages Turkey airport
A big fire breaks out at the international Ataturk airport just outside the Turkish city of Istanbul, May 24, 2006. Thick black smoke is billowing from the airport, hotels near the airport.
A big fire breaks out at the international Ataturk airport just outside the Turkish city of Istanbul, May 24, 2006. A plane is putting out the flames.
A huge fire engulfed the cargo section of Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport, temporarily disrupting air traffic and causing thousands of people to flee.
A large fire, possibly sparked by an electrical fault, has ripped through a cargo area of Istanbul's main Ataturk Airport, injuring three people and causing some delay to flights.
Fire engines and ambulances rushed to the scene of the fire where towering plumes of black smoke billowed up from the airport which serves Turkey's largest city. Planes normally used for water bombing forest fires swooped down to douse the flames.
"People panicked when they saw the huge smoke. It was a close shave because it was so near to the international passenger terminal," Mustafa Alpa, a tour guide at the airport, told Reuters.
The cargo area is about 1,000 metres from the main passenger terminals at Turkey's largest and busiest airport.
Rescue workers carried away airport employees overcome by the toxic smoke. Some people fainted, eyewitnesses said.
General director of state airport authority, Mahmut Tekin, said the fire had been brought under control and that "there is no problem with air traffic but some flights are delayed".
Istanbul governor Muammer Guler told Turkish television that the blaze may have been caused by an electrical fault.
"There has been no loss of life, but we have suffered large-scale material damage," he said.
There was no suggestion of foul play.
Various militant groups ranging from Kurdish separatists to ultra-leftists operate in Turkey, attacking civilian as well as military and security targets.
Istanbul Deputy Governor Fikret Kasapoglu told Turkish NTV television news channel that three people had been hurt and had been taken to hospital.
The fire broke out around 3:30 pm local time in the cargo section of Terminal C, which is used by smaller airlines, mostly from the former Soviet bloc.
Turkish television said the electricity network had been affected and that passengers were being checked in manually.
I hope this didn't affect any players but I would be surprised if it didn't...
I've been there
Hope it's not as serious as it looks and sounds!