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Flight delay chaos continues in Moscow airports

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10:12 28.12.2010
text: Kazinform
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Situation in two Moscow airports where thousands of people remain stranded due to weather anomalies remained tense on Monday. Kazinform refers to RIA Novosti.

Severe freezing rain, which covered the entire territory of Central Russia over the weekend, has suspended many of the country's daily activities, causing serious power outages and disrupting the operations of public transportation and airports.

The delays were caused by power outages and ice at the Domodedovo airport and by de-icing aircraft at Sheremetyevo. The association of Russian travel companies said flight delays affected more than 20,000 people. Some 7,000 of them are still waiting for their flights in Sheremetyevo.

Electricity supplies, disrupted over the weekend in Moscow's Domodedovo International Airport, head of the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency said on Tuesday.

Two halls of Domodedovo, Moscow's largest airport, remained without electricity or Internet access until early on Tuesday.

The airport, which currently remains closed to all inbound flights, expects to serve up to 350 departing flights later on Tuesday, including 100 flights delayed on Sunday and Monday.

Angry passengers in Sheremetyevo blocked entrance to the safety check area after their flight to Thailand was again postponed after a 24-hour delay. They drummed on the floor with their airport security trays to protest against the management's negligence of the situation.

"People are angered mostly by the fact that there is no explanations [from the airport staff]," said another passenger, stranded in Sheremetyevo. "Many are about to go ballistic."

According to most recent reports, protestors have already calmed down.

Passengers and police dismissed earlier reports of brawls in Domodedovo.

"The situation is calm, no brawls, attempts to break through passport control cordons or any other incidents were registered," the airport's press service said. Kazinform cites RIA Novosti. See www.en.rian.ru for full version