Kenyan minister apologizes for airport terminal darkness

Late on Friday night, a major power outage occurred in Kenya, affecting many parts of the country. The electricity distribution company, Kenya Power, attributed the loss to "a system disturbance" and issued a statement. 


The outage caused chaos for passengers at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, with online footage from local broadcaster NTV showing travelers struggling in the darkness. The airport operator, Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), confirmed that one of its stand-by generators failed to kick in after the grid went off, leaving the terminal in darkness. 

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However, generators serving the flight control tower and the airport runway were functional at all times. Transport Minister Kipchumba Murkomen held a televised news conference, assuring the public that no passengers or airplanes were endangered by the outage. He also apologized to all travelers and airport users who were affected by the power disruption and announced that KAA's board had terminated the contract of Managing Director Alex Gitari, appointing Henry Ogoye as acting head. 

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Abel Gogo, JKIA's manager, was transferred to manage a different airport, and Selina Gor replaced him. To prevent such incidents from recurring, KAA will put two generators that were already procured into service as soon as possible. Kenya Power restored supply to the airport five hours after the incident began, but many homes and businesses were still without power over 15 hours later. Although power outages are common in Kenya, it is unusual for them to affect operations at the airport, with no reports of such incidents in recent memory.

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