STANSTED AIR CRASH: Stranded thousands seek news as airport reopens in crowded chaos

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The Independent Online
STANSTED AIRPORT reopened yesterday with many passengers in the heaving terminal fearing the "chaos" would ruin their journeys home for Christmas. A spokeswoman said priority was being given to departures, adding: "We are not going to get back to normality until tomorrow [Friday] morning at the earliest."

About 400 passengers spent Wednesday night at Stansted but by yesterday afternoon the numbers waiting had swelled to 6,000. Davinda Randhawa, 28, flying to Venice with Ryanair, said: "The stupid people boarded us on a plane five minutes after something had blown up. We saw it blow up, the whole building shook. Then they kept us [on the plane] for four hours. We've been in this terminal all night."

Carmen Scagnoli, 28, from Venice was trying to get home for Christmas on the same flight. She said: "People have been here all night, there were a lot of big arguments with the people behind the [flight] desk."

About 150 flights have been disrupted since the airport was forced to close at 6.40pm on Wednesday. Brenden O'Flaherty, 22, said: "The information is bad. They don't seem to have a plan in place. When flights to Glasgow were cancelled it looked like people were going to riot."

Laura Lavelle, 25, was on her way to spend Christmas in Dublin. She said. "It's terrible. We've been standing in queues for three and a half hours now; it's chaos. We get sent from one desk to another and there isn't enough information."

Professor Glenn White, 50, was booked on to a flight to Stockholm to spend Christmas with his girlfriend. "My girlfriend has called the airline in Stockholm and they know what the movements of aircraft are, so the people here must have some vague idea. The airlines have not been very good at disseminating information."

Paul Charman, 43, waiting for a flight to Venice to spend Christmas with family, said: "Four people lost their lives last night. If we've been delayed then we've been delayed. Our problems pale in comparison to those poor Koreans."

Henrietta Damskov, 25, from Copenhagen was impressed by the British character. She said: "Look at that queue - it happened in 30 seconds. A policewoman stood up and asked, so 700 people are now in orderly lines. This would not happen in Denmark."