Thunderstorms spark airport chaos

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Thousands of households, businesses and Oslo’s main airport at Gardermoen (OSL) were victims of power failures Sunday afternoon after thunderstorms crashed over the Romerike area northeast of Oslo. The power cuts knocked out OSL’s baggage-handling equipment, leading to chaos both at baggage claim and check-in.

OSL’s baggage belts stood still from 1pm and still weren’t functioning properly by 7pm. Enormous amounts of luggage built up on a busy Sunday afternoon during the height of the summer travel and tourism season.

“Parts of the baggage system are working, but the situation we have now can’t last for long, otherwise we’ll have to start carrying all the bags out,” Ole Jørgen Holt Hanssen, acting director of OSL, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). There also were problems checking in luggage, and long lines built up in the main departures terminal.

Around 5,000 homes were without power in the surrounding area as well, but utility company Hafslund said the number had been reduced to around 3,800 by 5pm. Several thousand residents of Kongsberg were also without electricity Sunday afternoon, after a fire at a nearby power plant.

newsinenglish.no staff