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Gimpo Airport plagued with accidents linked to remodeling

 [THE INVESTOR] Gimpo International Airport is coming under fire for continued safety concerns linked to its ongoing remodeling project after consecutive fires and flooding.

The latest incident broke out on July 29 at approximately 6:30 a.m., when water leaked from the ceiling near the convenience store on the first floor and restrooms on the second floor, according to Korea Airports Corp., which operates the Gimpo airport.

“The water came into the waiting area when heavy rains flooded the canopy in the remodeling site,” the company said in a statement.

 
Gimpo International Airport.
Gimpo International Airport.


The leak was plugged within half an hour and there was no significant damage, but the public remains wary because the leak came at the heels of other accidents.

On July 25, a fire broke out in the ceiling of the airport‘s domestic wing, and was put out about 10 minutes after fire trucks arrived on the scene. Two weeks before that on July 11, a fire had broken out on the third-floor canopy of the same wing, and was put out in 20 minutes.

Neither fire resulted in an injury or significant damage.

However, the larger concern is that accidents like these will continue to occur until the airport completes its remodeling construction.

Gimpo International Airport has been undergoing constructions since 2014 to expand its arrivals waiting area and to raise the ceiling from 2.8 meters to 6.2 meters.

Korea Airports Corp. said that the latest fire was most likely due to sparks from welding involved in the remodeling process, while the water leak was due to heavy rains breaking the outer canopy. They have yet to explain how these types of accidents will be prevented in the future.

On July 27, between the second fire and the water leak, Korea Airports Corp. held a special meeting with facility managers to discuss measures to prevent further accidents, but there were no concrete results.


By Won Ho-jung/The Korea Herald (hjwon@heraldcorp.com
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