Source:Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Updated:2013-8-15
Nairobi, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- When a huge fire was gobbling Kenya's largest airport on Tuesday dawn, four vehicles from a neighboring Chinese company carrying workers and water rush to help contain the fire.
Ernest Ogalo, a 28-year-old Kenyan employee for Aviation Industry Corporation of China, was driving a full-load water truck around 6:30 a.m. toward the billows of black smoke high into the sky. The massive fire at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) started at 4:30 a.m., when the entire Nairobi city was still asleep.
The Chinese company started building the new terminal building at the JKIA during 2011. Together with his was the deputy manager of the company, Mu Yunqing. Not far away from their trucks, the fire was engulfing the arrivals hall.
"I didn't give a second thought. When I realized there was a fire at the airport, all I thought is to help," said Mu.
Officials from Kenyatta Airport Authority (KAA) sent two fire engines but the shortage of water hindered the efforts. When the firefighters were still on the way, they turned to the neighbor Chinese company who has been working close to them for three years.
Mu conducted his colleagues where they were steps close to the fire. For more than five hours, they fought against the inferno with the airport staff.
Eric Kiraithe, head of security at Kenya Airports said the Chinese company has helped a lot as it was the first to send their vehicles to help before all the other trucks from the city.
"It is a way to give back the community. In the past three years, we have always been good neighbors with KAA people." Huang Hongyou, the general manager of the company.
"Helping put out the fire is the most urgent thing at the moment," Huang said. He dashed from Nairobi city center to the airport early in the morning to "take care of his employees."
Huang said they will spare no effort to finish the construction of the new terminal as soon as possible. They are also willing to continue offering help request from the KAA to the renovation of the arrival building.
The Chinese company started building the new terminal in 2011 with the cooperation from the KAA. The new terminal is said to be finished at end of this year.