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News Entry# 288438
  
Dec 13 2016 (07:41)  Operations thrown out of gear at airport (www.thehindu.com)
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Major Accidents/DisruptionsSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 288438     
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Posted by: rdb*^  127239 news posts
Hundreds of passengers were stranded as 71 departures and 18 arrivals were affected when the Chennai airport’s runway was closed till 11 p.m. on Monday due to cyclone Vardah.
As many as 25 flights were diverted to neighbouring destinations, including Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
Airport director G. Chandramouli said, “Since the winds were still pretty fast, we couldn’t get clearance to open the runway even on Monday night. We hope to resume operations in the morning.”
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midnight on Sunday till 7.30 a.m. on Monday, 46 flights departed from the airport, but subsequently, operations had to be suspended.
Glass panels damaged
According to the Meteorological department, Meenambakkam recorded 17.8 cm of rainfall with the wind velocity touching a maximum of 132 kmph around 2 p.m. on Monday. Many glass panels were damaged due to the impact.
At least three doors at the domestic arrival and the security hold up area were damaged too.
Two of the three sheets of metal on the airport building were also blown away, the official said.
False ceiling
Also, portions of the false ceiling near some gates collapsed too. Officials said repair work was in progress. Airport sources said the runway had to be cleaned before operations were resumed.
According to police sources, several passengers, who arrived in flights early in the morning and many others, who managed to reach the airport to take departing flights on both domestic and international sectors were stranded.
No cabs were available for passengers to leave the airport premises.
“Some made frantic calls to their family and friends. But no vehicle could reach the airport as roads leading to the Meenambakkam area on the GST Road were blocked for a long time.
Southern Railway suspended all suburban rain services,” a police official said.
The stranded passengers managed to stay on with the supplies available at the food stalls.
Sunitha Sekar
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