Date
25 July 2017
Passengers threw lunchboxes to the ground (inset right) and attacked some airline staff amid anger over flight cancellations and inadequate arrangements at Shenzhen airport in the past two days. Photos: Baidu.com, Weibo
Passengers threw lunchboxes to the ground (inset right) and attacked some airline staff amid anger over flight cancellations and inadequate arrangements at Shenzhen airport in the past two days. Photos: Baidu.com, Weibo

Thunderstorms cause flight delays and chaos at Shenzhen airport

Heavy rains and thunderstorms in southern China have led to massive flight delays and cancellations at Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai airports since Sunday.

More than 700 flights were cancelled because of bad weather, leading to noisy scenes from angry passengers who found themselves stuck at the airports.

Several people complained that airlines and airport authorities failed to make proper arrangements for the stranded passengers, Sing Tao Daily reported.

Shenzhen International Airport, which saw around 10,000 people being stuck there at one point, declared a red alert first time this year on Monday morning, as it struggled to deal with passengers following the cancellation of over 200 flights.

Photos and videos posted online showed angry passengers chasing and getting into physical altercations with airline staff.

There was much shouting as some people hurled lunchboxes, smashed airline equipment and even blocked a boarding gate with benches. 

One video clip shows a man who appears to be an airline ground staffer sitting on the floor and holding his head in pain.

Some passengers were quoted as saying that they got emotional as airline staff didn’t show up at check-in counters. Others complained that the airlines didn’t provide accommodation or meals.

According to Shenzhen International airport, passengers probably became irritated after waiting for a long time at the airport.

But it denied any untoward incidents.

An airport spokesperson said some photos and videos that went viral on social media depicting chaotic scenes may not have been filmed on Monday.

Officials claimed that the airport and various airlines arranged accommodation for 8,400 stranded passengers.

Services at the airport began to resume Monday evening.

Other airports in South China also suffered serious delays because of heavy rainfall.

As many as 172 flights were said to have been cancelled at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, while Zhuhai Airport saw 45 flight cancellations.

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BT/AC/RC

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