SMA NEWS – ADEN THE CAPITAL
A powerful storm hit Aden International Airport in southern Yemen in the early hours on Monday, injuring a number of passengers and causing chaos in the terminal.
A thunderstorm accompanied by strong winds and rain struck the airport’s terminal while passengers were boarding a flight from Aden to Jeddah.
The injuries came when glass panels broke and fell on people in the airport.
“Six individuals, among them children, sustained injuries when the glass facade of the departure building collapsed upon them,” Ministry of Transport media officer Adel Homran told The National.
He said all those injured were taken to hospital.
Videos shared on social media showed women and children screaming as the storm hit the departure hall, causing the glass exterior of the building to collapse on them.
The storm caused considerable damage and authorities were forced to delay flights, in some cases for hours.
“The thunderstorm caused huge damage on two aircraft in addition to the external fence of the airport, the departures building and some other equipment in the airport, including firefighting trucks,” a source at the airport told The National.
Yemeni Minister of Transport Abdulsalam Humaid assessed the damage alongside general director of the airport Abdulraqib Al Omari.
Mr Humaid said the ministry would pay for the medical treatment of the injured.
The airport resumed operations after the powerful storm, the ministry said, confirming the Aden-Jeddah flight had taken off later in the day. Other domestic and international flights were set to take off later on Monday as scheduled.
The thunderstorm caused havoc in Aden, a city currently serving as the seat of Yemen’s internationally recognised government after Houthi rebels took over the capital city of Sanaa in 2014. Exteriors of hotels, buildings and shops were damaged, as well as several vehicles, mainly in the Khourmaksar district of the city.
A weather warning was issued by authorities to Aden residents, especially those living near the coast and in the highlands, as heavy rainfall was expected to continue for hours.