First responders looted bank and ATM following fire tragedy at Kenya Nairobi airport
The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport goes up in flames, in Kenya's capital Nairobi - Reuters

Emergency workers charged with dousing the fire at Nairobi international airport looted the burning buildings instead of putting out the inferno.

Onlookers who witnessed the incident said the huge fire could have been easily contained if the first responders had been quicker.

The devastating fire, which ripped through the main arrivals, brought the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to a halt on 7 August.

Shortly after the fire broke out, the first responders looted electronics, a bank and an ATM, according to local officials quoted by Associated Press.

The Kenyan government also admitted that firefighters ran short of water to battle the blaze.

The poorly-equipped firefighters were combating the intense heat generated by the blaze for several hours. It is, however, unclear whether any of the firefighters were involved in looting.

No formal complaints have been registered over the ransacking.

The authorities have also pledged to establish the cause of the tragedy. Local media reports speculate that an electric wiring fault or even internal sabotage could be the reason.

Officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have also joined the Kenyan investigators to probe the tragedy. Experts from the Israeli Mossad agency are also likely to join in the coming days.

Meanwhile the airport, the biggest transport hub in East Africa, is resuming operations as international flights have started flying.

"We expect that the normal flow of passengers will be restored from midnight [9 August]. We are back on our feet," Transport and Infrastructure Minister Michael Kamau told reporters.