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Alicante airport reopens 24 hours after fire broke out in roof causing travel chaos for hundreds

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Britons flying to or from Alicante face a second day of chaos as the airport remains closed until 2pm today as fire continues to rage

  • Fire broke out in the roof of Alicante–Elche Airport at about 2.30pm yesterday 
  • Firefighters battled through the night to put out the large blaze in the roof
  • Tourists were told not to go to airport and to contact airline for information 

British holidaymakers travelling to and from the Costa Blanca faced a second day of chaos as a large fire saw Alicante airport closed for nearly 24 hours.   

The airport, the fifth busiest in Spain, resumed operations early this afternoon when firefighters finally managed to extinguish the large fire in its roof.

Crew battled the blaze, which covered some 13,000 square feet, through the night.   

Authorities are still not sure what caused the fire to break out on Wednesday afternoon, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of passengers and personnel at the busy aviation hub.   

Hundreds of passengers and staff were evacuated and flights cancelled as firefighters struggle to extinguish the large fire.  

The delay in putting out the fire was blamed on access problems and the ‘slow-burning’ roof material. 

The fire is believed to have started in the roof of the airport – which is the fifth busiest in Spain 

Dozens of flights were cancelled yesterday as firefighters struggled to contain the blaze at Alicante airport

Dozens of flights were cancelled yesterday as firefighters struggled to contain the blaze at Alicante airport

An airport spokesman told travellers not to go to the airport to contact their airline for updates.   

Yesterday dramatic footage showed flames and thick black smoke at Alicante-Elche while pictures also showed passengers filing out of the building. 

Firefighters were called battle the blaze which is thought to have originated inside an office in the terminal building, at 2.30pm.

More than 60 of the 125 flights scheduled to and from the airport on Wednesday were affected.

Around half the 31 flights scheduled to depart from the airport are thought to have been cancelled, with passengers on another 14 taken by bus to nearby airports in Murcia and Valencia so they could fly from there instead.

More than 20 incoming flights were diverted to Murcia and Valencia and ten were cancelled before take-off.

‘It’s a joke now been outside 2.5 hours… [the] coordination of information [is] terrible,’ Tracy Cartland-Ward, 53, who was in Alicante as part of a business course, told MailOnline yesterday.

‘Some people have left but my baggage was already checked in. Sadly for some folks it’s getting difficult with no water or drinks, no toilets and Costa coffee even putting tables on outside seats to stop people sitting!

Smoke can be seen billowing from the roof of Alicante airport after a fire started in the terminal building on Wednesday

Smoke can be seen billowing from the roof of Alicante airport after a fire started in the terminal building on Wednesday

‘Oh and to add insult to injury most Ryanair passengers sent a 4 euro voucher for snacks – issuable inside the airport which they can’t get into.’ 

She added that Ryanair has texted passengers to tell them of a possible seven-hour delay and that the airline staff on the ground had been giving out mixed information. 

She said that someone told her the airport could be closed for one or two days.  

Cameron Stocks, 26, a barrister at Hardwicke Law in London, who was visiting family in Alicante this week, told MailOnline yesterday: ‘We haven’t been allowed back in yet. We have been told there is a 2/3 hour wait to see if the fire is controllable and then we will be told if flights can depart today.’

A view from the car park shows dense smoke rising from the airport building in Alicante on Wednesday

A view from the car park shows dense smoke rising from the airport building in Alicante on Wednesday

Firefighters work at Alicante-Elche airport today in Alicante after a fire erupted in the terminal

Firefighters work at Alicante-Elche airport today in Alicante after a fire erupted in the terminal

‘There are now a substantial number of police and fire brigade keeping everyone back from the terminal but information is disseminated slowly,’ he said. 

‘There was a lot of confusion to begin with as my group had already passed passport control and were due to board so we were simply herded into a corner.’ 

Earlier on Twitter he wrote: ‘Airport staff are acting nonchalant and have simply herded passengers into a corner of the terminal without a single alarm going off.’  

A video posted by Twitter user @sotiridi shows columns of dense smoke filling the sky over the airport. Another, taken by the same person, shows the thick clouds and crackling fires erupting from the roof of the terminal.   

Pictured: Flames and smoke billowing outside the window of the terminal in Alicante on Wednesday

Pictured: Flames and smoke billowing outside the window of the terminal in Alicante on Wednesday

Passengers are evacuated at Alicante-Elche airport in Alicante after a fire erupted in the terminal

Passengers are evacuated at Alicante-Elche airport in Alicante after a fire erupted in the terminal

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