One of Hong Kong Airlines lounges at HKIA burned down on Friday night after fire spread from a construction area and then set the entire lounge ablaze.
Airport terminal fires are rather rare and highly dangerous and this situation shows how quickly they can get out of control when flammable materials are around.
The South China Morning Post (see here) just published news about this incident.
A VIP lounge inside the restricted area of Hong Kong International Airport caught fire on Friday night, but nobody was hurt.
At 9.50pm, the fabric surrounding construction work at Hong Kong Airlines’ VIP area on the second floor of Terminal One’s midfield concourse caught fire and quickly spread to the entire lounge.
Airport Authority staff evacuated passengers nearby and reported the incident to the police.
Firefighters were sent to the scene, located near gate 212, after the Fire Service Department received a No 2 alarm.
The authority said in a statement that the fire was put out at 10.10pm and that no passengers were injured. “The operation of the airport was not interrupted,” it added. …
The department said that because the fire took place in a heavily trafficked location – similar to that of a hospital, hotel or a transport site – it was immediately treated as a No 2 alarm fire.
I’m actually surprised it was possible for this fire to stay alive for 20 full minutes before being extinguished despite a sprinkler system in place. This is a brand new facility that thankfully wasn’t very busy at the time of the incident.
Airport fires have claimed many lives before. Back in 1996 a total of 17 people were killed when a fire raged at Duesseldorf Airport (DUS) in Germany causing regulations and technology for fire prevention at airports worldwide to be reviewed and in many cases improved.
Flammable material, even in such sensitive areas can’t always be avoided during construction. It still seems unclear what sparked this fire though. Thankfully nobody was injured!