'Small fire' at Changi Airport T2 sparks evacuation, flight delays

'Small fire' at Changi Airport T2 sparks evacuation, flight delays

SINGAPORE: Changi Airport Terminal 2 was evacuated on Tuesday (May 16) after a "small fire" broke out at a room holding air-conditioning equipment, said the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). 

Three people were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation, and the fire was put out by SCDF officers using a hosereel jet.

According to Changi Airport officials, the fire alarm was activated at about 5.40pm due to "smoke coming through the air vents".  

In an update at about 6.45pm, Changi Airport said the situation was under control and the cause of the fire has been identified. It added, however, that flight operations at Terminal 2 are affected, and that passengers should expect "significant delays".

All departing and arriving flights at Terminal 2 were moved to Terminal 3 while Terminal 2 remained closed "in the interest of ensuring safety", Changi Airport said. Close to midnight, it said about 40 flights were affected by delays and advised passengers to check the flight information screens in the terminal and the Changi Airport website for flight details. 

The airport management said that SCDF gave Terminal 2 the all-clear at about 10pm. It issued an update at about 10.50pm saying flights would resume progressively, beginning with some arriving flights.

People were evacuated onto the tarmac of Terminal 2, including passengers waiting to board, those already on board as well as staff. 

changi airport evacuation tarmac
Passengers, staff evacuated onto the tarmac of Changi Airport Terminal 2. 

people evacuated onto changi t2 tarmac
Passengers and staff evacuated onto the tarmac of Changi Airport Terminal 2.

Nearly two hours after the fire alarm went off, T2 was still smoky and SCDF officers were spotted taking fans into the terminal to help clear the smoke.

Some passengers who were evacuated told Channel NewsAsia that they were directed to shuttle buses which would take them to Terminal 3 for their flight out.

Earlier, Channel NewsAsia reader Noorazli Noor said his fiancee, who works at the airport, was told to evacuate as the smoke worsened in the departure hall. 

Another Facebook user, Glinise Lorenzo-Singh, told Channel NewsAsia the fire happened at Gate F of the terminal. Her sister-in-law was inside the terminal waiting to board her flight when she was told that the flight would be moved to a different gate, Ms Lorenzo-Singh said. 

Due to the incident, bus services 24, 27 and 53 will skip the bus stop at Terminal 2, said transport operator SBS Transit.

Source: CNA/mz