Flight disruptions in Europe get even worse

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email
Volcanic ash from Iceland

Smoke and steam hangs over the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland, Wednesday April 14, 2010, which has erupted for the second time in less than a month, melting ice, shooting smoke and steam into the air and forcing hundreds of people to flee rising floodwaters. Volcanic ash drifting across the Atlantic forced the cancellation of flights in Britain and disrupted air traffic across northern Europe, stranding thousands of passengers. Flights in and out of London Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport, were halted, and the shutdowns and cancellations spread to France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, Finland and Switzerland. The volcano's smoke and ash poses a threat to aircraft because it can affect visibility, and microscopic debris can get sucked into airplane engines and can cause them to shut down.(AP Photo/Jon Gustafsson) ** ICELAND OUT **

LONDON (AP) - Volcanic ash from Iceland's volcanic eruption is causing further travel problems worldwide.

Polish officials are concerned that the ash cloud could threaten the arrival of world leaders for Sunday's scheduled state funeral for President Lech Kaczynski and his wife.

Among the leaders traveling to Krakow are President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

The European Air Traffic Agency says only 11,000 of today's 28,000 regularly scheduled flights are expected to operate. Eurocontrol officials say delays will continue at least into tomorrow as the ash cloud moves south and east at an altitude of 20,000 to 30,000 feet.

British Aviation Authorities have extended a ban on flights over England and Wales into tomorrow morning but say restrictions over Scotland and Northern Ireland are being lifted.

Travelers are turning to ground transportation to get around. A spokeswoman for a Dutch train company NS Hispeed says additional trains have been put into service.

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