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Hundreds of tourists stranded at Kos island airport as quake delays flights

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Published: 11:54 GMT, Jul 21, 2017 |
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Hundreds of tourists were left stranded at the airport on the Greek island of Kos on Friday (July 21) after an earthquake caused delays in outgoing flights.

Tourists waited in long queues, stretched out on benches or slept on the ground in the parking lot, as airport officials handed out bottles of water. They spoke of their ordeal of when the earthquake struck, with one man saying it felt like a train going through his hotel room.

Airport officials said in a statement that delays were minor and operations would normalize throughout the day, after ensuring that all necessary actions were taken to ensure flight safety and checks for damages on the runway and facilities. Officials said there had been no injuries or serious damage to the airport, and areas with any minor damage have been repaired.

A Turkish and a Swedish tourist, aged 39 and 22 years, died when the earthquake struck at 1:31am (2231 GMT) and the roof of a popular bar collapsed, Greek police said. Kos’s port was put out of action and, across the strait in Bodrum, a small tsunami damaged vehicles parked near the shore. Around 200 people were injured, including tourists of various nationalities. Many of Kos’s tourists spent the night in the open as a precaution, hotel owners said.