Rhodes Greece Airport
BRITISH tourists were left stranded at a Greek airport after a massive hole developed on its runway.
The eight metre-wide void appeared in the tarmac at Rhodes late last night.
It meant hundreds of passengers hoping to leave the island were delayed for up to 10 hours as workmen rushed to fill in the crater.
One Thomsons flight to Manchester at 2.20am was cancelled, while flights arriving were also held back with fears some may have to be redirected to Athens.
A Thomsons flight due to leave Rhodes for Exter after 9pm last night was also cancelled. The outbound flight from Exeter had to be diverted to Athens.
It is understood some of the passengers were moved to hotels after the flight was delayed.
A spokesman for Thomson this morning issued an apology to passengers who were affected.
They said: "With very short notice we acted as quickly as we could to look after our customers and make alternative arrangements, which included route diversions and sourcing overnight accommodation where possible for our customers and crew both in the UK and Greece.
"The airport was closed for 14 hours, the runway has since been repaired and reopened at 6am this morning (UK time). We are working hard to ensure that all of our customers are on their way as soon as possible."
Delayed tourists voiced their frustrations on social media overnight.
The hole appeared on a runway at Rhodes Airport
Steven Hartley, who was leaving the island, tweeted: “Latest from Rhodes. They can fix the runway tonight as long as it doesn’t rain.
“Panick buying in the shop, they’re almost out of Twix!
“I’ve now been awake 24 hours, 9 of which I’ve spent sat on an airport floor and I am officially cranky!”
He added: “Rhodes? Where we’re going we don’t need Rhodes... A stretch of completed tarmac for the plane would be handy though.”
Isobel Holmes said: “Entering our tenth hour in Rhodes airport. Longest night of my life.”
Kirsty Munn, who was heading to Rhodes for her honeymoon, also wrote on Twitter: “If Rhodes airport doesn’t open today then they can move us to somewhere else to the same standard of our original booked hotel!
“I understand things can’t be helped and the staff have been nothing but helpful but I just want to be at resort in Rhodes.”
A spokeswoman at Rhodes airport said that the damage has since been fixed.
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