Kurdish militants 'set fire to airport'
Thursday 25 May 2006
A Kurdish separatist group claimed responsibility for a large fire at Istanbul's Ataturk airport that injured three people, delayed international flights and destroyed the main cargo-handling building. The group's claim could not be independently verified.
Thick smoke from yesterday's blaze forced one runway closure, and about 2,000 workers had to flee the flames.
The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons Organisation, a hardline group linked to the main Kurdistan Workers' Party guerrilla group, said it started the fire to protest against Turkey's treatment of the Kurdish minority.
Government officials had earlier ruled out terrorism or sabotage and given various possible causes, including a spark from a welder's torch or an electrical short-circuit.
But a police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said an investigation to determine the cause was still under way.
The fire destroyed much of the cargo in the building, including textiles and gold shipments worth millions of pounds.
Firefighting planes filled their hulls with six tons of water at a time from the nearby Sea of Marmara and made more than 70 trips to drop it on the burning building. Dozens of fire trucks helped, taking more than four hours to get the blaze under control.
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 2 Trevor Noah: Jon Stewart's replacement faces online criticism over 'anti-Semitic' tweets
- 3 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 4 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 5 Syrian child photographed 'surrendering to camera because she thought it was a gun'
Costa Concordia: Shipment of Mob drugs was hidden aboard cruise liner when it hit rocks off Italian coast, investigators say
Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A rare and exciting role has arisen within thi...
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a keen...
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion, this multi-ac...
£21000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an e...