Stuck Chinese Passengers Helped by US Red Cross

More than 100 Chinese passengers were helped by US Red Cross members after they had been stuck in a Midwest US city, one of the passengers told Xinhua on Saturday.

"We got help from local Red Cross people and we were grateful they provided accommodations to us," said the Chinese woman, who arrived in Washington by Greyhound Friday morning.

The passengers, aboard a Northwest airliner from Beijing, China to Detroit, Michigan, were scheduled to land at the Detroit International Airport on Tuesday morning. Most of the Chinese came to see their children or were on business trips.

However, the Tuesday morning attacks on New York and Washington forced the plane to make emergent landing at Great Rapids, Iowa.

Passengers including the Chinese were sent to local hotels and Northwest covered their first night's fees.

Almost all the stuck Chinese passengers went back to the airport Wednesday morning, after getting wrong information that they would be able to catch rescheduled flights to arrive at their destinations. They only found flights had been canceled nationwide.

With no money in hand or nowhere to go, some passengers began looking for help from local people and Chinese consulate in Chicago.

And when the local Red Cross got to know this, they agreed to give free accommodations to the Chinese.

Diplomats of Chinese consulate in Chicago arrived by car one day later, and they took the "baby-sitting" job over.

"People were just fortunate that they were not alone when such chaos happened," said the Chinese woman who did not give her name. "They had so many kind people," she added.

(Xinhua News Agency 09/16/2001)

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