Massive explosion near Cairo International Airport
A large explosion occurred in a storage area containing fuel in the vicinity of the international airport in Cairo, Egypt, according to the country's civil aviation minister. The violent fire allegedly lasted for about 45 minutes.
An Egyptian Army spokesman shortly after said that the explosion occurred at a chemical factory near the airport, and that the explosion was the result of high temperatures.
During Thursday, there has been two stories circulating on the internet; the chemical factory explosion and the fuel tankers reports were both mentioned on social media after the explosion and it remains unclear whether the two are connected.
A large plume of smoke could be seen shooting forth from a location close to the airport, social media reports indicated Thursday. The blast injured three people, an Egyptian official said.
Flights in and out of the airport were suspended for the time being, Al Arabiya reported The Egyptian civil aviation office later disputed this, and , said air traffic was unaffected by the explosion.
The incident was allegedly triggered by the explosion of a fuel depot, local Egyptian media reported.
They vaguely cited "security sources", but Egyptian aviation officials later confirmed that the incident happened at two depots storing fuel just outside of the airport.
Videos appearing on Twitter showed a fire that lasted for a while; it does not appear to die down after the explosion. About 40 minutes after the first reports of the fire began, a TV channel in Egypt reported that firefighters had put out the huge fuel fire.