Delhi airport inundated, passengers wade through ankle-deep water inside terminals
With the ‘swanky’ halls and waiting areas of all terminals at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) going under water following a sudden downpour on Thursday evening, passengers were forced to wade through ankle-deep water — while holding high their luggage and some, their footwear — till the early hours of Friday.
Most passengers said the airport premises remained flooded till early Friday. As many as 50 flights were delayed or diverted because of the rain. Airport officials said flight operations were shut between 7.56pm and 8.20pm.
Sharad Tiwari, a mechanical engineering graduate from Lucknow, who was travelling to Delhi, said soon as their flight arrived at Delhi at 7.30pm, it started to rain. “For an hour, we kept waiting on-board the aircraft as it was raining heavily and there are no aerobridges in Terminal 1D. When the rain stopped, we moved to a bus and reached the arrival area, which was inundated,” Tiwari said.
He said many of them had to take off their shoes to walk through the terminal building. “At some places, the water level was just a little below our knees, while in most places, it was about ankle high. Many carried their luggage on their backs and footwear in their hands,” Tiwari, who was travelling with his father, said.
Another passenger who, did not wish to be named, said even the departure area was flooded. Several passengers, especially women and children and those with a lot of luggage, had a tough time wading through the water, he said.
“Some bags were floating in the water and were damaged. We could even see water dripping off the roofs. However, the airport staff were present there to guide passengers. The housekeeping staff members were trying to mop up the water continuously. I think they were also using water pumps to push the water out,” a passenger said.
Many passengers took to social media to vent their ire and posted videos and pictures of the water-logged terminals. Some videos also showed water falling through the roof near the boarding gates.
Airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) said water entered only Terminal-1 due to “sudden downpour on Thursday”.
“Because of excessive rain within a short span, roof drain pipes overflowed and as a result, water accumulated at the bussing gate area. DIAL staff members immediately deployed five pumps and ride-on machines to clear the water from the terminal building and the area around it. A prompt and timely action by the DIAL team helped in mitigating inconvenience to passengers,” a DIAL spokesperson said.