13 Jan 2018 14:45 IST

Bhogi bonfires: Smog disrupts flight operations at Chennai airport

Flights diverted to Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Colombo

A total of 14 flights (13 international and one domestic) were diverted from Chennai airport to neighbouring airports due to poor visibility following smog caused by Bhogi bonfires.

From 3.30 am, flight operations were closed and were resumed at around 9 am, according to Chennai Airport Director G Chandramouli. The flights were diverted to Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Colombo airports, he told BusinessLine. No flights took off during this period, resulting in delays and scores of passengers waiting at the airport.

Airlines plan alternative routing in these kind of situations, and make sure passengers are brought back to Chennai, said airport sources.

Bhogi, celebrated ahead of the Tamil harvest festival Pongal on Sunday, involves burning of old articles in a symbolic gesture of bidding adieu to the old and welcoming the new. Meanwhile, motorists plied their vehicles with their headlights on following the smoke cover which descended on the city and its neighbourhoods.

The government launches regular awareness campaigns ahead of Bhogi, aimed at smoke-free celebrations of the day.

(With inputs from PTI)

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