Fire breaks out at Pakistan airport, Hajj flights, immigration affected

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The fire was caused by an electrical malfunction in the immigration counter of the Lahore Airport, affecting Hajj flights scheduled to depart from today

Fire broke out at Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore, Pakistan on Thursday due to a short circuit in the ceiling of the immigration counter, causing delays to both Hajj and international flights, several media outlets reported. 

Rescue teams promptly responded to the scene, and were able to contain the situation without any reported loss of life. According to Pakistan’s Aaj News, airport authorities said that the short circuit occurred around 5 am.

Multiple Pakistani news outlets stated that the immigration system suffered partial damage, leading to the suspension of immigration processes initially.

However, despite worries regarding immigration procedures, inbound international flights continued to be directed to Lahore airport without any diversions. 

Affected passengers were evacuated from the immigration lounge due to heavy smoke, with operations temporarily relocated to the domestic lounge, as confirmed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to Aaj News. 

Furthermore, the fire caused delays to several Hajj and international flights.

The CAA reassured the public that international flight operations were continuing from the domestic departure lounge, with both Hajj and international flights being accommodated through domestic facilities.

Pakistan’s Hajj pilgrimage plans

According to the Pakistani media outlet The News International, the Ministry of Religious Affairs on May 3 had announced the government’s plan to operate 11 special flights, transporting 2,160 Hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia on the initial day of the scheduled operation. 

The Ministry had informed that the month-long Hajj 2024 flight operation would begin on May 9 and continue until June 9.

This included 670 passengers from Lahore via three flights, 330 from Karachi via two flights, 680 from Islamabad via three flights, 329 from Multan via two flights, and 151 from Sialkot via a single flight.

Source: business standard

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