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Thursday, 13 September, 2001, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
US caught in transport chaos
Passengers try to make alternative plans to reach their final destination
Passengers had to think of new ways of getting around
Passengers stranded by flights being grounded after the terror attacks in the USA have resorted to renting cars, boarding buses or heading for railway stations.

It is estimated some 1.8 million passengers take to the skies each day in the United States, according to the Air Transport Association.

National train operator Amtrak said the number of passengers on its lines has swelled nationwide since the attacks.

I've been stuck on a bus for two days and it's going to cost me $1,000

A passenger in Texas

Strangers queuing at airports agreed to share rental cars - and driving - to distant cities. Some even hired trucks.

One car hire company booked one-way rentals between major cities.

Expensive alternatives

Four people went as far as hiring a taxi at Chicago's O'Hare Airport for $3,000 (about 2,000) to make the 30-hour journey back to Los Angeles.

People bought used cars when they were unable to get rentals.

One salesman in Goodland, Kansas, tells how a group of eight America Online employees, whose corporate jet had been forced to land, bought two large-model vehicles for almost $80,000 to get to California.

One Arkansas man stuck in Texas said he had bought two $500 airline tickets online and did not think he would be able to get a refund.

"I've been stuck on a bus for two days and it's going to cost me $1,000," said Tim Clayton at a bus terminal in El Paso.

"And my luggage is in Memphis," he added.

Diverted to Canada

More than 200 jetliners heading to the United States from abroad on Tuesday were diverted to Canada.

Some passengers stayed in their planes overnight, while others slept in hotel corridors, shared rooms with strangers or on cots in school gyms.

One small Canadian town, Gander in Newfoundland, whose population normally totals 10,000, almost doubled after 38 planes brought in 6,500 passengers.

But on Wednesday, the government lifted some restrictions, allowing people whose flights were diverted during the attacks to resume their journeys.

The BBC's James Robbins
"America is gathering itself for the first acts of collective mourning"
The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"The city of New York has ordered 6000 body bags"
Tracy Gray, Red Cross
"Thousands of New Yorkers turned out to show their support"
See also:

13 Sep 01 | Americas
US trains collide, say reports
13 Sep 01 | Business
Green light for US flights
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