Tue May 16, 2017 3:14PM
Firemen inspect Changi International Airport terminal 2 in Singapore on May 16, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Firemen inspect Changi International Airport terminal 2 in Singapore on May 16, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Hundreds of passengers were evacuated from Singapore's Changi Airport after a small fire erupted in a terminal that was later extinguished, authorities and witnesses said, delaying flights at the global hub.

Smoke swept through the airport's Terminal 2 building after a fire broke out in the departure hall, spurring authorities to seal off the area.

Three people were sent to hospital for smoke inhalation, the Singapore Civil Defense Force (SCDF) said on its Facebook page.

"A small fire occurred at the departure hall of Changi Airport Terminal 2. The fire has been extinguished by SCDF," the Singapore Police said in a statement.

Police said the fire alarm was activated at around 5:40pm (0940 GMT) as smoke poured from air vents, sparking an evacuation order and closure of the terminal.

Passengers on flights departing from the terminal on Tuesday evening "should expect significant delays," airport management said.

Passengers gather at Changi International Airport terminal 3 in Singapore after being evacuated from terminal 2 due to a fire, May 16, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Singapore Airlines said it was "working closely with the airport authority and various agencies to ensure flights can be resumed in the shortest time possible".

An AFP reporter at the airport said the scene was generally calm as the departure and arrival halls were evacuated. Airport staff were also seen leaving but there was no panic.

More than 58 million international passengers passed through Changi Airport last year. The airport serves more than 100 airlines flying to some 380 cities worldwide.

(Source: AFP)