Bristol Airport fire delays thousands of passengers

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Media captionA small fire at Bristol Airport caused a power failure which left thousands of passengers stranded.

Passengers using Bristol Airport are being warned to expect delays for the rest of the day following a fire in some electrical equipment earlier.

At 18:00 BST the airport's website was showing 11 departures as delayed but said passengers should check in as normal or contact their airlines.

More than 20 incoming flights were delayed, some by more than four hours.

An airport spokesman said a full investigation would be undertaken.

He said to date none of the 184 flights scheduled for Friday had been cancelled and added he expected operations to "return to normal" by Saturday.

Baggage and check-in equipment is now back in action although three flights took off without hold luggage.

Image copyright Jeff Minter
Image caption It is expected to take most of the day to clear the backlog of delayed flights

Sophia Benincasa said passengers were only told on arrival at Edinburgh their luggage was still in Bristol.

"The way they handled the luggage was a complete farce," she said.

'Terminal in darkness'

The "small fire" that happened just after 03:00 BST involved an electrical distribution panel and a subsequent failure of the airport's back-up generator led to a complete loss of power in the terminal, officials said.

Some 2,000 people were initially stranded at the airport and those arriving in the early hours said the terminal was in darkness.

Image copyright Jeff Minter
Image caption All flights were grounded between 03:00 and 08:00 BST

Passenger Alistair Barclay, from Taunton, was due to fly to Faro, but arrived at 04:30 BST to find he was one of the thousands left stranded.

"It is just one of those things," he said.

"No-one's fault. A fire in the basement apparently so you've got to go with the flow."

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