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Fires At Istanbul Cargo Terminal Causes Delays

May 24, 2006 By: Susan Young Travel Agent

Billowing smoke and a huge fire engulfed a two-story cargo building at Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport on Wednesday, temporarily disrupting air traffic and causing thousands to flee nearby terminals. Three people were treated for smoke inhalation. Authorities had differing views of the cause of the fire; one official said it was caused by a short circuit, another said the fire was started by a spark from a welder's torch, but all said there was no sign the blaze was terrorism related. Officials took precautions to protect the passenger terminals and planes were moved successfully away from the fire area. The fire caused delays in flight departures as computer systems were shut down, and workers were checking in passengers by hand. Flights continued, however, and priority was given to allowing arriving flights to land.

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