Flights to and from Geneva Airport, Switzerland’s second-busiest airport after Zurich, were disrupted on Friday after a major fire broke out just beyond the perimeter fence. „The new reception center for asylum-seekers – which was under construction… is on fire outside the airport perimeter,’ said airport spokesman Ignace Jeannerat. Witnesses reported hearing an explosion. The explosions came from five gas cannisters at the site, TdG Geneva reported. Emergency services were alerted to the scene. Around 50 fire fighters tackled theblaze and there were 15 fire engines at the site. Incoming flights from Lisbon, Barcelona and Madrid had been diverted to Lyon and Basel, others were delayed. Social media showed black smoke covering the sky in the area on Friday.
The exact cause of the fire was not declared. Onlookers have reported being able to see and smell “acrid” smoke from Plainpalais, several kilometers away. The fire was brought under control at 6.30pm. Disruption was expected until 8.30pm at Geneva airport, the arrival board said. In 2021, the airport in Geneva welcomed more than 5.9 million passengers, down from the pre-pandemic level of nearly 18 million in 2019.