Kenya’s transport minister apologized to the country late Friday night after a massive power outage left travellers stranded at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the dark.
The electrical distribution firm Kenya Power (KPLC.NR) stated in a statement that power went out in various sections of the nation around 9.45 p.m. on Friday, attributing the outage to “a system disturbance leading to the loss of bulk power supply.”
Images of stranded travellers sitting in the dark at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) quickly went viral on social media. The airport’s operator, Kenya Airports Authority, stated that one of the facility’s standby generators failed to start.
“I’m really sorry for what has happened at the JKIA with the blackout,” Transport Minister Kipchumba Murkomen stated on social networking site X, previously Twitter. “There is no excuse worthy of reporting, and there is no reason why our airport is in darkness.”
It was unclear how the airport’s absence of electricity, a crucial gateway for leisure and business tourists onto the continent, affected flights.
Officials from Kenya Airways were not immediately available for comment.
Five hours after the situation occurred, Kenya Power claimed it had restored power to the airport. Many homes and businesses were without electricity for more than 12 hours after the outage began.
While significant power outages do occur in Kenya, they are uncommon enough to disrupt airport operations, with no reports of such instances in recent memory.