Delhi Airport Roof Collapse Kills One, Disrupts Flights

A roof collapsed under heavy rainfall and winds at the main airport in India's capital New Delhi on Friday, killing one person and leading to the cancellation of flights from a domestic terminal
A woman stands in front of the portion of a damaged canopy at terminal 1 following heavy rainfall at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India June 28, 2024.
A woman stands in front of the portion of a damaged canopy at terminal 1 following heavy rainfall at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India June 28, 2024. REUTERS/Priyanshu Singh

By Aftab Ahmed

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -A roof collapsed under heavy rainfall and winds at the main airport in India's capital New Delhi on Friday, killing one person and leading to the cancellation of flights from a domestic terminal, officials said.

A portion of the canopy at the departure area of Delhi airport's Terminal 1 collapsed early in the morning and flight operations were shut down until 2 p.m. (0830 GMT), India's aviation minister told reporters.

The entire terminal, one of three at the country's busiest airport, has been evacuated and an inquiry ordered into the collapse, said the minister, Kinjarapu Rammohan Naidu.

At least 10 flights were cancelled and 40 were delayed, according to data from flight tracking platform Flightradar24.

Eight injured people were taken to hospital and the rescue operation had been completed, said Atul Garg, the director of Delhi Fire Service.

Visuals from Indian TV channels showed a taxi crushed under a wrecked metal pillar at the entrance area of the terminal, which is mostly used by low-cost carriers IndiGo and SpiceJet for domestic flights.

Indigo is operated by Interglobe Aviation.

The incident happened at 5 a.m. (2330 GMT Thursday), usually a busy time for domestic flights carrying people across the country, a statement from the airport posted on X said.

The airport area received about 148.5 millimetres of rain over three hours in the early morning, more than the average for all of June, according to India's weather office.

Many other parts of Delhi were flooded as well and cars trapped in thigh-deep water. Metro services were affected and traffic snarls were reported from several parts of the city.

Several residents in Delhi also complained of power cuts.

In India's most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, at least 20 people died in various rain and flood-related incidents in the last 48 hours, including seven due to lightning strikes, officials said.

GMR Airports Infrastructure, which operates Delhi International Airport, is also its top shareholder with a 64% stake. Its shares fell as much as 2.1% in early trade.

(Reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar and Aditi Shah; additional reporting by Nandan Mandayam and Rajendra Jadhav; writing by Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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