Heavy fog strands 9,000 air passengers in SW China

Updated: 2008-01-08 20:18

CHENGDU -- More than 9,000 air passengers were stranded and 105 flights delayed due to a heavy fog that blanketed Chengdu, Sichuan's provincial capital, on Tuesday.

The fog cut visibility at Chengdu's Shuangliu International Airport to less than 50 meters, far below the 550 meters and 800 meters required for planes to take off and land, respectively.

An airport executive in charge of passenger services said the fog forced the facility to close for more than five hours between 5 am and 10:28 am. During this time, 392 flights were rescheduled, seven were cancelled and two incoming flights rerouted to airports in neighboring Chongqing Municipality.

In Chengdu city proper, the fog brought traffic to a standstill in the congested roads.

The local meteorological station warned the fog would return on Wednesday morning. It had probably been caused by high humidity in the area.

It was the eighth time heavy fog had disrupted flights to and from Chengdu since December.

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