Rainwater pours down at Islamabad airport as false ceilings collapse

Published July 19, 2021
Rainwater falls down from the ceiling at Islamabad International Airport. — DawnNewsTV
Rainwater falls down from the ceiling at Islamabad International Airport. — DawnNewsTV

Following the latest round of downpour in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi on Monday, rainwater entered the Islamabad International Airport, causing its false ceiling to collapse partially.

The rainwater poured down from the ceilings above several counters, including immigration, and caused computers and other equipment to malfunction.

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) staff stood by helplessly as parts of the ceiling came crashing down due to the weight of water.

However, officials said that airport operations were not suspended and work continued as usual. They added that repair work was underway and would be completed soon

The officials expressed the hope that such incidents would not happen again.

This is not the first time that the gleaming Islamabad airport has been damaged by rain. A major portion of the false ceiling at the airport’s international departure and concourse hall collapsed during a downpour in August 2020.

Heavy leakage of water was observed in the hall after that incident but no one was injured.

“The design of the outer ceilings is such that it allows for entry and circulation of air in areas where there is no air-conditioning. During high-speed winds, we sometimes encounter with such a situation,” Aviation Division spokesman Senior Joint Secretary Abdul Sattar Khokhar said at the time.

An inquiry into the leakage was later ordered.

The airport, which was built at a cost of Rs105 billion, became operational in May 2018. It has two runways — each 12,000 feet long and 150 feet wide, taxiways and aprons for wide-body aircraft.

The construction work on the airport started in April 2007. It is the largest airport in the country and is designed to facilitate 15 million passengers annually in its first phase.

Hardly seven months into its completion, a number of incidents such as the collapse of the false ceiling, choking of sewerage lines and presence of stinking water in offices occurred since the airport became functional.

Authorities had decided to shift all staff and workers to an alternative place when the customs cargo (airfreight unit) building started caving in — just six months after its opening in 2018.

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