The minister of state for aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has reacted to the rumour of an earthquake at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos saying it is a hoax.
Sirika who visited the airport today in the wake of the rumour that there was massive vibration that affected the structural integrity of the airport explained that the shuddering experienced was caused by the unlatched doors where the coolers are housed.
The minister described the rumour as “erroneous” and “misleading” saying the doors were not well latched and the vibration experienced was directly under the office of Royal Air Maroc which led to the wrong assumption that something was wrong.
“First and foremost, it is wrong and erroneous that the structure of the Murtala Muhammed Airport is failing and there was an earthquake as reported. It is not so; what happened is that there was vibration at the air handling room of the cooling system. The door is a huge metal door that needs to be locked properly. It was locked but it wasn’t latched properly; the latches were not in place and that gave rise to the vibration because there are moving parts. There are motors and fans and other things that are activated and they function…to create the necessary cooling system.
“That door responded to the vibration and because it wasn’t latched, it was vibrating and that vibration was directly under the counter of Royal Air Maroc and they assumed the structure was vibrating to the point of collapse.
“Once our men were alerted, they went promptly, identified the problem which was the door and latched the door and since then there has been quiet,” he said.
The minister used the opportunity to announce that the engineering department was working on the chillers.
“We are working on those chillers and in no distant time the airport will be quite chilled and comfortable for our passengers,” he added.
On the issue of the reported power outage at the airport, Sirika confirmed the report but explained that there were redundancies dedicated to certain critical areas of the airport.
“Indeed there was power outage at the airport. However, we have dedicated generators at certain areas of the airport and those generators were working at the time the outage occurred. The airfield lighting, taxiways were all working perfectly and most part of the operational aspects of the airport including the checking-in counters was working perfectly.
“The terminal building…was affected but the outage did not get to the critical safety operation (areas) of the airport. Even at that it took us a couple of minutes to identify the problem and we went for it. Going forward, government is working hard to provide other alternate sources that in the future, even when there is a surge not outages, passengers will not notice and the airport will function normally,” said Sirika