By Ajape Sefiu A.
  • CAA says the fire was caused by short-circuiting at the record room of the airport’s immigration department
  • Airport authorities evacuated passengers to domestic departure lounge to continue Hajj flight operation

On Thursday, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said four Hajj flights scheduled to fly in the morning departed following a fire caused by short-circuiting at an airport in the eastern city of Lahore, which was “quickly brought under control.”

The incident took place hours after the country launched a special flight operation for Hajj pilgrims traveling to Saudi Arabia from the southern port city of Karachi.

“All four Hajj flights operated by Pakistan International Airlines, Airblue and Air Sial departed on time from the domestic departure,” CAA Spokesperson, Saif Ullah told Arab News. “Passengers were shifted immediately from international to domestic terminal.”

“This happened after a fire broke out due to a short circuit in the record room of the immigration department at the airport, but it was quickly brought under control with the combined efforts of relevant authorities,” he continued.

“Due to the smoke, which spread after the fire, immediate evacuation measures were taken to ensure the safety of the people and prevent any harm.”

He added that a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) had been issued to manage international flights until 3:30 PM, resulting in some disruptions in flight operations.

However, the airport remained operational for domestic flights, cargo and air traffic control.

“Only a few international flights will be affected during the five-hour NOTAM period,” he added.

Earlier, a CAA statement said the situation at the airport was gradually returning to normal and no casualties had been reported.

Several Pakistani media outlets reported that the fire damaged the immigration system partially, after which the immigration process was halted.

Likewise, airport authorities also evacuated several passengers from the international terminal due to heavy smoke.