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Passengers stuck in transit prepare for third night in limbo

DDP/The Local · 18 Apr 2010, 14:02

Published: 18 Apr 2010 14:02 GMT+02:00

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Facing what is likely to be a third night on camp beds in the airport, the passengers have not even been able to get their luggage, leading to airport staff buying T-shirts and underwear for them from nearby shops.

Fraport, the company which operates the airport, has set up film screenings for the stranded passengers, and even offered them tours to keep them from getting too bored.

“This kind of thing has never happened,” said a Fraport spokesman. He said the passengers were not enthusiastic about their situation, but that the atmosphere was still friendly.

The stranded people have been allowed outside a little, to take a walk in the fresh air, but are not permitted by visa restrictions to actually leave.

Of the 1,500 people who were initially stuck in transit, around half have been issued with emergency visas so that they can be put up in nearby hotels, or continue their journey by road to England or France. But those from Africa, Asia and Russia have been denied such visas and are stuck in the airport.

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“We are making the best of it,” said the Fraport spokesman. He said his colleagues were trying to make the passengers’ captive time as pleasant as possible, and were allowing them into a sports hall to shower, while children were being entertained with toys and cartoons.

Adults were being offered internet access, while a crisis intervention team was also on offer for those who were having difficulty coping. The Fraport spokesman said no-one had lost their nerve yet, despite the understandable frustration.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:38 April 18, 2010 by ChussKeDweele
Is it really that hard for the German government to grant a temporary visitor's visa to these people in such an extraordinary situation? Maybe short term refugee status if giving them a Schengen paper is such a hassle?
18:03 April 18, 2010 by jocey
maybe we need some kind of volcano visa issue
10:05 April 19, 2010 by moistvelvet
Perhaps if they were Somali pirates then they would be offered better treatment and accomodation in Germany!

You would think an exception would be made and allow them to have emergency visas, what if they had been injured on a plane that crash landed, would the Aisans, Africans and Russian be refused hospital treatment too? No I didn't think so.
23:37 April 19, 2010 by wmm208
10:27pm UK, Monday April 19, 2010 - BREAKING NEWS

More Delays: New Ash Cloud Heads Towards UK

Air passengers are being warned of further delays tomorrow after warnings that a

"new ash cloud" was spreading towards the UK.
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