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Friday, January 9, 2009

> Fire at LCCT

A fire has broken out at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal, forcing the evacuation of all passengers and staff, a senior official with its main tenant AirAsia said today.

"It started 40 minutes ago, there's a lot of smoke. The airport has been evacuated, operations are at a standstill," the official told AFP.

The AirAsia representative said that the fire broke out at a new section of the Low Cost Carrier Terminal which is currently under construction and due to be opened shortly.

A fire has broken out at Malaysia's budget airport terminal, forcing the evacuation of all passengers and staff, a senior official with its main tenant AirAsia said Friday.

"It started 40 minutes ago (about 11.3am), there's a lot of smoke. The airport has been evacuated, operations are at a standstill," the official told AFP.

The AirAsia representative said the fire broke out at a new section of the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) which is currently under construction and due to be opened in the next few months.

"Everybody is standing outside the airport," he said, noting that there had been no fire alarm despite people having to be evacuated.

The fire broke out just a day after Air Asia announced its plans to shift its operations to its own airport nearby.

‘I saw smoke'

An eyewitness at the scene, 31-year-old businessman Cham Ze Hoe, said that at least two fire engines had arrived at the budget terminal.

He said he joined a large crowd of people standing outside the building when he arrived to catch his flight but was prevented from going inside.

"I was stuck in a bus outside the LCCT and I thought it was a traffic jam... I got down from the bus and walked towards the terminal," he told AFP.

"I could see smoke coming from the LCCT building. There were hundreds of people standing outside."

The LCCT which opened in 2006 is located 20 kilometres from the capital's main facility, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. It is used by AirAsia as well as Cebu Pacific and Tiger Airways.

AirAsia on Thursday unveiled plans to shift to its own 460 million dollar airport outside Kuala Lumpur and abandon the overcrowded LCCT which it has rapidly outgrown.

The warehouse-style terminal, built at a cost of 29.2 million dollars, was designed to handle 10 million passengers a year - AFP.