Farnborough Airshow evacuated following heavy downpour

Torrential rain brought a swift end to opening proceedings at Farnborough International Airshow today, as flood water forced event organisers to cut power to the site’s main exhibition halls.

Organisers at Farnborough, one of the world’s most prestigious showcases of aviation and aerospace technology, made the decision to evacuate visitors from the Hampshire site shortly after 3pm due to safety concerns.

When the rain began early this afternoon the roadways of the exhibition ground were transformed into fast-flowing streams and visitors flocked to take cover. The downpour was so heavy that water began to collect inside the site’s showcase pavilions, which are filled with high-tech equipment.

As water accumulated along walkways and dripped into company stands, event organisers cut the power to the site’s main halls, before making the decision to call an end to the day’s proceedings.

Many attendees took to social media to express their amusement of the day’s premature end, and braved the elements to share pictures of the sudden, and somewhat dramatic, flooding. Among them was Twitter user Max Kingsley-Jones @MaxABEd, who commented on the airshow’s new water feature:

Other visitors were not so forgiving, suggesting that the showground should have been better equipped to handle the characteristic British weather.

The biennial event, which combines a major trade exhibition and a public airshow, attracts hundreds of thousands visitors from across the world. A tweet from the official Farnborough International Airshow Twitter feed assured visitors that the team plan to hold a full schedule of events for the rest of the week.

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