A fire causing extensive damage in an underground facility has turned Atlanta airport, world’s busiest airport, in complete chaos on Sunday afternoon 1:00 pm (LT). The event impacted not only the underground facilities, but also substations serving the airport. The fire was safely extinguished by fire crews before Georgia Power could enter the area to assess damage and begin repairs, the cause of the incident is still unknown.
The fire halted all of the departing traffic, passengers got stuck inside the airport. Arriving planes were held on the ground for hours, passengers and crew were deplaned only hours after the power outage. International flights were being diverted. Four hours after the fire power in concourse F could be restored, eight hours later power was restored in all concourses. The airport delivered water and food to the stranded passengers shortly after, the airport also tweeted that “trains will be operational soon“.
Delta Air Lines, which has its biggest hub in Atlanta cancelled almost 900 flights on Sunday and was forced to cancel another 300 flights on Monday. American Airlines cancelled 24 flights, and diverted three to neighboring airports. At Southwest Airlines 70 flights got cancelled.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International is the busiest airport in the world with 104 million passengers per year. The airport serves 275,000 passengers per day with almost 2,500 aircraft taking off or landing each day.