Lahore Airport Fire Delays Hajj Pilgrims, Raises Safety Concerns

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Blaze Disrupts Departures:

A fire outbreak in the immigration system at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport on Thursday led to delays in several flights. The fire, reportedly caused by a short circuit, originated in the departure lounge, prompting officials to suspend the immigration process.

Swift Response by Authorities:

Civil Aviation Authority officials promptly responded to the incident, extinguishing the blaze. However, the thick smoke that engulfed the lounge posed challenges in resuming immigration procedures swiftly.

Impact on Hajj Flight:

The fire incident also affected the departure of the first scheduled Hajj flight from Lahore, resulting in delays. To mitigate inconvenience, authorities initiated immigration procedures for Hajj pilgrims through domestic counters.

Ministry Announces Hajj Flight Operations

The Ministry of Religious Affairs announced the commencement of Hajj flight operations from May 9 to June 9, 2024. Thursday marked the departure of the first Hajj flight from Islamabad, bound for Madinah.

Phased Operations:

During the initial 15 days of operation, all flights will land directly at Madinah Airport, according to ministry spokespersons. Subsequently, from May 24th to June 9th, most flights will redirect to Jeddah Airport.

Inaugural Day Operations:

On the inaugural day, a total of 11 flights were designated to transport 2,160 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. Islamabad facilitated the departure of 680 pilgrims across three flights, while Karachi and Lahore dispatched 330 and 670 passengers, respectively, bound for the Holy Hijaz region.

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