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WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 11, 2010, 08:27 PM

420 People Stuck At GF Airport After Flights Diverted Saturday

Four planes were diverted to Grand Forks after the Minneapolis airport's only open runway was blocked. The airport there closed all but one runway because of a blizzard. 420 people were stranded in Grand Forks Saturday night.

Four planes were diverted to Grand Forks after the Minneapolis airport's only open runway was blocked. The airport there closed all but one runway because of a blizzard. 420 people were stranded in Grand Forks Saturday night.

A traction truck broke down on the only runway the Minneapolis airport had running because of the blizzard. After an hour of circling the airport, planes had to turn to other regional airports for fuel.

As the four diverted planes landed in Grand Forks, some passengers said it was mayhem.

"It was chaotic, it was crazy completely. We were packed like sardines and we were shocked," said Leah Edmondson, whose plane got diverted to Grand Forks.

"No one knew what to do or where to go so we just followed the person ahead of you and we all got in line. We thought we were going to get out right away, but of course it's closed so how can they," said Sue Coquillette, who was also diverted.

The 420 passengers on the four planes diverted to Grand Forks had to spend the night Saturday. Some are stayed at the airport overnight, others went into town and got hotel rooms. All four planes are scheduled to leave early Sunday morning. Passengers were told to be at the airport by 7:00am.

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