Flights suspended at Italy's Catania airport after major fire

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Flights suspended at Italy's Catania airport after major fire
Flights to and from Catania's Vincenzo Bellini airport were suspended after Etna's eruption. Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

Flights to and from Catania airport were suspended amid the peak summer travel season after a blaze on Sunday night left the terminal covered in a thick blanket of smoke.


Catania airport's management said on Monday morning that flights were suspended until 2pm on Wednesday, with affected flights expected to be diverted to nearby airports.

An investigation is set to get underway into the cause of the fire which reportedly started at 11.30pm on Sunday on the ground floor of the airport before spreading to the first floor.

The blaze was quickly “contained and put out” by the local fire brigade, according to reports, but left the entire airport covered in smoke.

No one was injured, the airport said in a tweet, though Italian news agency Ansa said that some people suffered from slight smoke inhalation and were in a state of shock.

National news media reported passengers crying and screaming as they rushed out of the building.

The cleanup began on Monday as firefighters were reportedly still on site to secure the building and check for structural damage.

It wasn’t clear at the time of writing which airports flights would be diverted to, though two inbound flights were diverted to Trapani airport, on Sicily’s west coast, on Sunday.


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