Last updated: 10:09 AM ET, Thu May 07 2015

Fire at Italy's Busiest Airport Causes Mass Cancellations

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | May 07, 2015

Fire at Italy's Busiest Airport Causes Mass Cancellations

Photo via Twitter

Getting stranded at the airport due to mass delays can be the worst-case scenario for many travelers, and an overnight fire at Italy’s largest airport, Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino International Airport, has caused cancellations and delays for those looking to take a flight on Thursday.

According to The Associated Press, over 175 flights were cancelled due to a fire that broke out in the international terminal (Terminal 3) just after midnight local time. Firefighters in Rome were able to extinguish the fire, but it took almost five hours and resulted in thousands of passengers being stranded.

Investigators believe the cause of the fire was electrical and that it started in the restaurant. The blaze quickly spread through the 4,000 square feet of retail area, but firefighters were able to get the fire under control.

While the fire may be out in the terminal, the airport itself is still dealing with the aftermath of the cancellations and delays. Alitalia airline—the national carrier of Italy—canceled all of its departures from Fiumicino Airport through 2 p.m. local time Thursday, per The AP.

Alitalia also informed its customers of the cancellations and instructed them to stay away, as the majority of roads onto airport had been closed for emergency personnel. The airport is still open to some intercontinental flights for landings, but most scheduled flights into Rome have been canceled or diverted.

Fiumicino Airport is Italy’s busiest airport, serving 130,000 passengers a day and 38.6 million passengers in 2014. A delay this massive will cause major headaches throughout the Thursday for domestic and international flights.

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