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Zhengzhou airport riot over delays mars end of Chinese New Year holiday

Published on Feb 7, 2014 1:25 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - A riot at a major airport in China by passengers angry about delays caused by heavy snow has marred the end of the traditional week-long Chinese New Year holiday, state media said on Friday, as millions rush to return to work.

Passengers at Zhengzhou airport, capital of the populous northern province of Henan, stormed check-in desks and smashed computers and other equipment after the airport closed for more than five hours due to the snow on Thursday, newspapers reported.

Pictures on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo microblogging service showed police trying to calm angry crowds and broken signs at airline counters.

"There were not enough seats, and passengers had to sit on their luggage eating instant noodles. The airport staff were indifferent and said 'I don't know' to questions asked of them," Henan radio said on its microblog. The Global Times, a tabloid published by the official People's Daily, described the incident as a "riot". It added that the airport finally reopened late on Thursday.

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