Flight restrictions extend across northern Europe

17:22, April 16, 2010      

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Flight restrictions have extended across much of northern Europe as a result of volcanic ash spewing from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland.

By early Friday morning airspace was closed to all traffic in Britain, the Republic of Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland and Lithuania. In addition there are partial closures in Sweden, France, Germany and Poland. Austria has also announced it will close its airspace from late afternoon Friday.

The restrictions have been imposed because of the danger the ash poses to aircraft. Tiny particles of rock, glass and sand in the cloud could damage engines and lead to a potential catastrophic power failure.

In 1982 a British Airways 747 descended several thousand feet after all four of its engines failed when it flew through a volcanic cloud from Indonesia. It eventually landed safely.

Source: Xinhua


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