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Air China sends planes for stranded tourists
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The Chongqing branch of Air China on Wednesday sent four Boeing 737s to pick up stranded tourists in Jiuzhaigou, a tourist attraction in quake-hit Sichuan Province, the company said.

Most of the stranded tourists were from Chengdu, where the airport was damaged in Monday's massive earthquake. The tourists would be sent home by bus from Chongqing after their arrival at the Chongqing airport.

The number of stranded tourists in Jiuzhaigou was not known yet. However, the Sichuan provincial emergency management office said on Tuesday that more than 2,000 tourists, including 15 Britons, were stranded in Aba Prefecture. The tourism bureau of Shenzhen city said that two Chinese-Americans and one Thai tourist were also missing.

Air China designated an airplane exclusively for transporting rescuers and stranded tourists.

The quake caused more than 12,000 reported deaths as of Tuesday evening in Sichuan alone.

(Xinhua News Agency May 14, 2008)

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