The Saudi Arabian government ordered an investigation into the chaos at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah during the Eid holiday yesterday.
Saudi Minister Saleh Al-Jasser formed an investigative committee led by the head of the General Authority of Civil Aviation to find the cause and make recommendations so that the incident does not repeat itself.
The results of the investigation must be reported within a week of the incident occurring last Thursday (5/5).
A series of incidents that occurred at the airport included flight delays, lost baggage, and terminal facilities that were overcrowded to the point of not being able to accommodate the large number of passengers.
One passenger said the worst incident occurred on Tuesday (2/5) when a number of people were locked outside the airport, when the temperature was 40 degrees Celsius.
“Absolute chaos. Flights delayed, connections dropped, people locked outside in 40 degrees, people passing out from heatstroke, no updates, never ending queues, and people fighting and screaming,” one person wrote. passengers on social media, as reported by ArabNewsFriday (6/5).
“I arrived earlier than scheduled at one o’clock in the afternoon. The entrance gate was closed. We stood in the sun for about an hour with no water or toilets available. When we entered the crowd was everywhere, people lying on the floor and my flight was three hours late,” said another passenger, Abu Ammar Alhasan.
Another passenger said his flight was delayed for four hours because the baggage belt didn’t work.
Some passengers speculated that Umrah pilgrims arrived at the airport well before their flight time, and chose to rest on the floor in the waiting area and in the outdoor parking area.
Meanwhile, several flights were delayed, plus passengers and pilgrims were booming, causing overcrowding.
A new US$9.6 billion airport opened in 2019. The airport aims to accommodate 30 million passengers per year at peak times. In fact, when the final phase is complete, the airport can accommodate 80 million people by 2035.