SINGAPORE - Changi Airport resumed normal operations at 3am on Wednesday (May 17) after a fire at Terminal 2 disrupted flights and operations.
The first flight to depart from the terminal since operations resumed was Indigo Air flight 6E54 to Chennai at 5.40am, said the airport in an update on Facebook. It apologised for the inconvenience caused and thanked passengers for their patience.
Mr Avneesh Mehta, 21, checked in for IndiGo flight 6E54 at about 4am.
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The Indian national, who was in Singapore for a five-day holiday, said: "I'm glad that everything is now in order. I didn't even know there was a fire that caused such a huge impact."
Some shops in T2 were affected by the fire. Indian fast food restaurant Chutney Mary and restaurant Nando's on level 3 appeared to have been hit by a blackout caused by the fire.
Chutney Mary's manager Mohan Hase, 33, said the sprinklers on the fifth floor were activated and water leaked through the false ceiling into the 24-hour restaurant.
There was also a power outage. So even though staff were allowed back into the restaurant at 10.30pm last night, the restaurant has not reopened.
Nando's on level 3 of T2 is unlikely to reopen on Wednesday, said its business development executive Ng Kok Leng, 40.
"I got a shock when I came in at 8am today. Water was continuously dripping from the ceiling and there was a layer of water, about 1-2cms, on the floor," he said. "I'm afraid that the plaster ceiling will fall, so I got my contractors to come in to assess the damage."
Water also seeped through a feature wall made of sand.
Staff had covered the cashier area and some of the kitchen equipment with plastic last night, so those items were spared. Their chillers have a back up power source so frozen food items were not affected by the power outage.
When The Straits Times visited the fifth floor of T2 on Wednesday morning, where the airport’s plant room is located, workers were seen cleaning up a flooded office. It appears that the sprinklers had activated there.
It is understood that the office belongs to one of the airport’s partners.
The 24-hour Starbucks cafe at T2, which closed at 4pm on Tuesday, reopened at 3am.
The cafe staff were back at the shop around midnight.
Starbucks barista Siti Umairah, 21, said her colleagues were unable to complete their duties due to the sudden closure, so their team cleaned the equipment and completed the sales report before reopening the outlet.
"It smelled quite smoky when I entered the shop around midnight, but it's okay now" she said.
Mr Wilfred Tan, 30, who works at the Times bookstore said nothing was amiss at the store, which closed early on Tuesday. The store opened at 6am, its usual opening time.
Mr Tan, who has worked for Times for four years, said:"The airport conducts fire drills quite often so we know what to do in the event of an emergency."
Passenger Carol Pantoja, 41, a sales manager at a pharmaceutical firm, could not even tell there had been a fire when the Filipino landed in the wee hours of the morning at about 4.55am from Fiji.
" I walked around for 20 minutes and didn't smell anything," she said.
The fire on Tuesday broke out in a room holding air-conditioning equipment at the terminal, which triggered a fire alarm at 5.40pm.
Terminal 2 was evacuated and closed and all flights were moved to Terminal 3.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force gave the all-clear for T2 at 10pm on Tuesday. Flight operations then progressively resumed.
A total of about 40 flights were affected, Changi Airport Group (CAG) said. Six people required medical assistance.
Two people in the terminal were sent to hospital for observation after approaching Changi staff for medical assistance, and another four were taken to the Terminal 3 clinic, CAG said.
Changi Airport said it will work with the authorities to investigate the incident.
Passengers departing or arriving on Wednesday are advised to check the Changi Airport website, app or social media channels for the latest information, it added.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday (May 17), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong praised the Home Team for a job well done during Tuesday's incident.