Stansted Airport delays: Chaos as hundreds of passengers are stranded after lightning strike

Flights from Stansted Airport have been cancelled or delayed after a lightning strike damaged the aircraft fuelling system.

Some flights that had been due to land at the airport have reportedly been diverted as far as East Midlands and Birmingham airports, both more than 100 miles away.

A number of passengers have tweeted pictures of huge crowds waiting in departure lounges while describing “chaos” as planes were left stranded on the tarmac.

One person tweeted: “So @Ryanair boarded us at 5:45am knowing there is no fuel available for the flight. We are still sitting on it at 8:50am.”

Another Twitter user said: “Feel SO sorry for the people stuck on the aircrafts at #Stansted thank you @ThomasCookUK for not boarding us and us having to wait on on an aircraft that isn’t going to move. At least we’re still in the airport.”

Other people tweeted photos of hundreds of people packed into departure lounges at the airport.

One said there were “hundreds of us huddled together” in “boiling hot” conditions with a “minimum three hour delay”.

After hours of delays, stranded planes were gradually refuelled when the fuelling system was repaired.

It comes after a massive thunderstorm and lightning strikes overnight across London and southern England.

Although the fuelling system was repaired on Sunday morning, passengers were warned to check their flight status before travelling.

The airport said in a statement: “Due to an earlier lightning strike, the aircraft fuelling system was unavailable for a period this morning.

Chaos as passengers are stranded at Stansted after lightning strike

“Engineers have been on site and have now restored the system, however flights may still be subject to diversion, delay or cancellation.

“We apologise for the inconvenience and advise all passengers to check with their airlines for their latest flight updates.”

Ryanair could not say how many of its flights had been affected, and said customers can get a full refund or free transfer.

“A number of flights have regrettably been cancelled at Stansted Airport this morning due to an earlier airport fuelling system failure, caused by a lightning strike,” a spokesman said.

“All affected customers are being contacted and advised of their options of a full refund, a free transfer on to the next available flight or a free transfer on to an alternative routing.

“We apologise to all customers affected by these disruptions, which are entirely beyond our control.”

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