Singapore

T2 evacuated after fire for safety reasons, says CAG

A day after a fire broke out at Terminal 2, Changi Airport Group (CAG) said the decision to fully evacuate the building was to protect the health and safety of all occupants.

And now that the worst is over, the airport will conduct a review of the incident together with its partners and Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.

The incident, which saw T2 being shut down for more than five hours, resulted in complaints by some passengers about poor communication by airport staff.

CAG's spokesman Ivan Tan admitted that there was a delay in relaying information to passengers, but explained that it was due to the complexities of transferring thousands of passengers from one terminal to another.

As for complaints that up to 1,000 passengers were stuck on the tarmac for up to four hours, he said the original plan was to hold them there until T2 was given the all-clear.

But when it was assessed that this would take longer than expected, the decision was made to transfer all operations to T3, including passengers on the tarmac, he said.

Mr Tan also noted that the evacuation of T2 was ordered at 6.10pm by the Chief of the Airport Emergency Service, about half-an-hour after the fire was discovered in a room holding air-conditioning equipment.

This meant the loss of the use of a terminal when the airport was at its busiest.

In total, the airport handled 308 flights, with almost 55,000 passengers from 6pm on Tuesday to 3am yesterday when the airport resumed operations.

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