A fire at Terminal 2 at Singapore’s busiest airport on Tuesday caused more than 100 delayed flights before an all-clear to resume normal operations was given more than four hours later.
An evacuation caused by a fire believed to have started in a mechanical room in Terminal 2 at Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) brought operations to a near standstill on Tuesday. The fire, which has since been traced back to an area of the facility which houses air conditioning units, closed the terminal for more than four hours while emergency workers battled the blaze and later surveyed the damage.
In the meantime, more than 100 flights were delayed or canceled at the busy travel hub. Three passengers at the airport at the time of the incident were taken to an area hospital “for observation” after approaching airport workers to seek medical assistance.
According to SIN officials, a fire alarm was reported at 5:40 p.m. local time. The terminal was immediately cleared of passengers. Firefighters arrived on the scene moments later and were able to quickly extinguish the blaze. The airport received an all-clear to reopen the fire damaged terminal at 10 pm that same night. Flights are scheduled to arrive and depart from Terminal 2 as normal beginning early Wednesday morning.
Changi Airport is considered the sixth busiest airport in the world when it comes to international arrivals and departures. The airport is among the busiest air travel hubs in Southeast Asia – a claim to fame that SIN hopes to expand with the scheduled opening of a brand-new terminal 4 that will allow the airport to build on its already impressive 3,000 flights each week.
Although the new Terminal 4 is not yet ready for passengers, authorities were able to shift operations from the temporarily closed Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 during the crisis, but flights soon began to back up as the facilities at Terminal 3 strained to keep up with the sudden influx of additional traffic. SIN officials are still advising passengers to check with their airlines if scheduled to arrive or depart from the airport on either Tuesday or Wednesday.