Bristol Airport Fire Causes Serious Power Failure
About 2000 people at Bristol Airport were left stranded after a small fire caused a serious power failure.
Flights were grounded with some passengers saying the terminal was in darkness when they arrived earlier.
The back-up generators failed after the fire at 3pm, with the airport reporting "significant disruption and delays" at its busiest time of day.
Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said he hoped the operation systems would be back to normal by mid-morning.
One of the ongoing issues is the failure of the airport's baggage belt system, meaning luggage has to be processed manually.
Airport spokesperson James Gore said: "Three EasyJet flights have taken off this morning without baggage. We will be working to get their bags returned to them as soon as possible."
"A number of other flights are boarding having had the bags dropped and loaded manually.
"We are trying to process as much as we can manually but it is much slower progress than it normally would be."
He added: "This has hit us, and it has hit passengers travelling, at our busiest time of day. We have probably got about 2,000 people on site waiting all to depart to all points of the compass.
Paul Raymond, who is flying to Spain, said he arrived at 03:10 BST and heard the power had gone off shortly before.
"For a short time they were telling people just to leave the terminal building," he said.
"There was nothing - no computers, no security - nothing is operating at all."
The fire happened in a distribution panel, officials said, and the failure of the airport's back-up generator led to a complete loss of power in the terminal.
Three hours later the power was partially restored.
A major operation is currently in place to clear the backlog of flights which had been grounded.
Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said it was a "fluid situation" but he hoped the system would be fully back to normal within two to three hours.
"Clearly I'd like to apologise to all of our passengers that have been caught up in this disruption," he said.
| ||Collated by Philip Turnbull |