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Heavy fog strands over 10,000 air passengers in Sichuan
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More than 10,000 air passengers were stranded and 108 flights delayed due to a heavy fog that blanketed Sichuan's provincial capital of Chengdu on Saturday morning.


The fog cut visibility at Chengdu's Shuangliu International Airport to less than 10 meters, far less than the 550 meters and 800 meters required for planes to take off and land.


Lu Junming, an executive in charge of passenger services at the airport, said the fog forced the airport to close for more than four hours from 7:30 AM to 11:32 AM., during which 108 flight were delayed, 12 others cancelled and another 16 incoming flights rerouted to airports in neighboring cities, including Kunming, Chongqing and Guiyang, affecting more than 10,000 passengers.


The first flight heading for northern Tianjin Municipality began to take off as soon as the airport reopened at 11:32 AM and the airport was open for landing at 11:44 AM., said Lu.


However, the Sichuan provincial meteorological station warned that fog would probably return on Sunday morning.


It was the seventh time heavy fog has disrupted flights to and from Chengdu since December.


(Xinhua News Agency January 6, 2008)

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