Thousands of passengers were left stranded at an airport yesterday after a fire left the terminal without power.
Bristol Airport experienced a total power failure at around 3am when a distribution panel caught fire and the back-up generator failed.
Passengers arrived to find the terminal in total darkness and an estimated 2,000 people were left waiting outside while engineers worked to fix the problem.
Power was restored by around 8am and fights began taking off at 9am – although many of them had no bags because the baggage conveyor belt system had failed.
James Gore, spokesman for Bristol Airport, said: “We had a power failure at around 3am this morning. As a result check-in, baggage and lighting have all been affected.
“The power has since been restored but we are still experiencing difficulties. The baggage belt is still not working properly so we are having to do things manually.
“We are starting to see some flights depart, three took off by 9am, but they do not have any baggage with them.
“We have probably got about 2,000 people on site waiting all to depart to all points of the compass.
“We will be experiencing delays for the rest of the day whilst we catch up with the backlog of flights.
“The issues were caused by a small fire, which we will be investigating in due time.”
Planes were able to start taking off by 9am, if passengers were willing to leave without their luggage.
The spokesman confirmed that arrangements were being made to reunite passengers with their belongings as soon as possible.
Flights landing at the airport were not affected by problems and carried on as usual.