Author Topic: Nairobi airport emergency services 'looted electronics, a bank and an ATM' during massive blaze  (Read 1687 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2387142/Nairobi-airport-reopens-massive-amid-claims-emergency-services-looted-electronics-bank-ATM-blaze.html

Nairobi airport emergency services 'looted electronics, a bank and an ATM' during massive blaze

    Flights in and out of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport have resumed
    Allegations emerge that first responders stole cash and valuables
    Public officials poorly paid in Kenya and are frequently accused of corruption
    Investigation, with help of the FBI, has ruled out terrorism

By Steve Robson

PUBLISHED: 13:45 EST, 8 August 2013

First responders who arrived at massive airport fire in Kenya looted electronics, a bank and an ATM, it has been claimed.

Officials investigating the fire at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport told the Associated Press valuables were stolen by emergency services including police, firefighters and the army.

The fire broke out on the 15th anniversary of U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people in total, mostly Kenyans, but also a dozen Americans.







Today, international flights resumed landing and taking off from the fire-damaged airport and officials said they expected to return to full operations by the day's end.

Kenyan officials, assisted by members of the FBI, are investigating the cause of the fire.

Anonymous sources have alleged that first responders stole electronics and money from an ATM. It is also believed that police guarding the site overnight attempted to a take a safe from a bank in the burned-out arrivals hall, which also houses several foreign currency exchange shops.

All public servants in Kenya, including police, firefighters and soldiers, are poorly paid and frequently accused of corruption. Police officers who guard the entrance to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport are well known in Nairobi for demanding bribes from taxi drivers and other vehicles with Kenyan drivers.

The fire-fighting response to Wednesday's inferno was criticized as slow and inadequate, but the officials could not definitely say the looting was carried out by firefighters.



One official said there was now behind-the-scenes finger pointing taking place between the police, fire department and army. Another official said specialized police units had attempted to steal the safe overnight.

The criminal investigations policeman for the airport, Joseph Ngisa, said he hasn't received formal complaints of theft and that police are waiting for affected institutions to report what they lost in the fire.

A security official said the investigation had ruled out terrorism and was now trying to determine if the fire was intentional or accidental.

Michael Kamau, the cabinet secretary for transport and infrastructure, said the design of the airport - constructed in the mid-1970s - made it challenging for firefighters to access certain areas with water hoses.

But Kamau insisted he was 'satisfied' by the response of firefighters from private companies but did not mention the airport firefighters, who responded slowly and whose equipment wasn't fully functioning.

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is East Africa's largest aviation hub, and the fire disrupted air travel across the continent as the airport canceled all international flights. Many inbound flights were diverted to Tanzania and the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa. Domestic flights were being operated from the airport's cargo terminal.

Firefighters were desperately short of equipment. The airport has fire trucks but some were not filled with water and personnel couldn't be found to drive others. At one point while battling the blaze men in government uniforms lined up to pass buckets of water to fight the fire.





No serious injuries were reported.

President Barack Obama called Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to offer U.S. support.

Nairobi is the capital of East Africa's largest economy, but public-sector services such as police and fire departments are hobbled by small budgets, corrupt money managers and outdated equipment or an absence of equipment.

'From what you can see the damage is pretty extensive. It has extended until the immigration area. The electrical system is all down. Mechanical systems are all down. You can see the displays are all down, so it's huge,' said Ali Ayoob, an airport engineer.















Offline Atomic Cow

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Fire codes are non-existent and from people who where there, either the building's sprinkler system didn't work, or it didn't even have them.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Offline Oceander

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Is that all they took?  They're becoming rather restrained.

Offline mountaineer

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The fire broke out on the 15th anniversary of U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people in total, mostly Kenyans, but also a dozen Americans.
Just a coinkydink, I'm sure.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

Offline EC

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I love Kenya. Deplane, grab your luggage, make sure there is 1000 shillings (or a 10 dollar bill) tucked inside your passport as you go through immigration and you are out of the airport in minutes.
The universe doesn't hate you. Unless your name is Tsutomu Yamaguchi

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Offline Oceander

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I love Kenya. Deplane, grab your luggage, make sure there is 1000 shillings (or a 10 dollar bill) tucked inside your passport as you go through immigration and you are out of the airport in minutes.

I haven't been to Kenya in more than 30 years.  My father and his wife were there in the early 1990s.

Offline EC

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I go once a year without fail. Got good friends there - including a sort of daughter (hell of a long story) - and I meet up with them on their travels. Just hang out for a couple weeks, hunt, talk and basically tell the 21st century to KMA. It's pretty liberating.
The universe doesn't hate you. Unless your name is Tsutomu Yamaguchi

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Offline Oceander

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I go once a year without fail. Got good friends there - including a sort of daughter (hell of a long story) - and I meet up with them on their travels. Just hang out for a couple weeks, hunt, talk and basically tell the 21st century to KMA. It's pretty liberating.

Sounds good.  Unfortunately it's a lot harder to do so with a US passport.

Offline EC

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Sounds good.  Unfortunately it's a lot harder to do so with a US passport.

True. Since the Embassy attack they are not hugely fond of Americans. A lot of locals died in that.
The universe doesn't hate you. Unless your name is Tsutomu Yamaguchi

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Offline Oceander

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True. Since the Embassy attack they are not hugely fond of Americans. A lot of locals died in that.

And in general the world has become a lot less friendly for people carrying US passports.  I have a friend who is now a dual US-Australian citizen and she hasn't used a US passport since she qualified for an Australian passport.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2013, 11:45:25 PM by Oceander »

Offline EC

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Your friend is wise. In a lot of places around the world it is much safer not to be identified as American. Being blessed/cursed with three nationalities I do get to choose which passport to use.  :laugh:
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Offline flowers

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    The fire broke out on the 15th anniversary of U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people in total, mostly Kenyans, but also a dozen Americans.

Just a coinkydink, I'm sure.

Yep!



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