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Gatwick runway reopens after oil spillage chaos

Published 29/02/2016

No flights have been able to land or take off after a spillage on the runway at Gatwick Airport
No flights have been able to land or take off after a spillage on the runway at Gatwick Airport

Dozens of flights were delayed and diverted when the runway at Gatwick was closed due to a suspected oil spillage.

A spokesman for the West Sussex airport said the runway was shut shortly after 10.15am and did not reopen until 11.38am.

According to Gatwick's website a t least 19 incoming flights were diverted to other airports, and a number of departing services were delayed.

An airport spokesman said: " Arriving and departing flights recommenced from Gatwick at 11.38am.

"The runway closure has caused some flights to be diverted to other airports in the area and there will be delays to some departing flights.

"Friends and family waiting for passengers should contact the relevant airline for the latest information."

Passengers on diverted flights took to social media to complain about the delay in completing their journeys to Gatwick.

Ryan Brackpool, who was travelling to the UK from Australia, expressed his anger at being informed the plane he was on - which landed at Heathrow - would not take off again for Gatwick for another three hours.

He posted on Twitter: "Come on @Gatwick_Airport. Sort this out. We can't disembark at LHR. But we have to stay for three hours on the plane! Very poor communication!"

Another passenger, Jade Louise Davis, wrote: "Does Emirates really expect an entire plane to sit at Heathrow for three hours before doing a half hour journey back to Gatwick?!? Let us off!!"

According to reports the spillage was caused by a Virgin Boeing 747 jet.

A passenger going by the username Bunny Hulme posted on Twitter: " Gatwick-Berlin flight delayed nearly 5 hours. Diabolical. I hope you have the decency to refund us all #berlin #notsoeasyjet."

Joe Corlett wrote: "Detained on wrong runway after Gatwick re-route. No disembarking permitted despite 3-4 hour delay...to fly 30 miles. Nice."

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