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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 July 2006, 11:20 GMT 12:20 UK
British evacuees put up in hotels
A British family in Cyprus waiting to be flown to England
Hundreds of evacuees have flown into Stansted airport from Cyprus
British evacuees who were rescued from the fighting in Lebanon are being put into hotels and temporary accommodation on their return to the UK.

More than 600 British nationals arrived at Stansted airport on Saturday and Sunday and most immediately moved on.

But about 50 people remained at the airport's Hilton hotel and will move into student accommodation on Tuesday.

Volunteer groups and government agencies such as the Red Cross and Job Centre Plus have visited the airport.

More than 100, including some elderly arrivals and those injured in the fighting, were initially given overnight accommodation which was organised by Uttlesford District Council.

The council is now taking the remaining 50 people to accommodation in Colchester where they will remain for a period of time.

Incoming flights

Three flights have arrived at the Essex terminal so far, the largest carrying 450 people on Saturday morning.

They received immediate help from the Red Cross and Women's Royal Voluntary Service.

Another flight is expected on Tuesday afternoon, although the numbers of incoming evacuees on it are thought to be minimal.

Uttlesford District Council chief executive Alasdair Bovaird said: "Reading about an international crisis in the papers is one thing, having it land on your doorstep really brings it home to you.

"The response of council staff, the Job Centre Plus, BAA, the Hilton hotel, and the voluntary agencies such as Red Cross and WRVS has been both selfless and magnificent."

Saadia Usmani, of the WRVS, said the group's volunteers had been there to greet the refugees with "smiley faces".

She said: "The big thing is to have smiley faces to meet them with because they have been through an awful lot. We just greet them and offer refreshments.

"We have had three or four volunteers on standby for flights coming in at Stansted and also at other airports such as Manchester, Luton, Nottingham East Midlands and Gatwick."

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SEE ALSO
Lebanon evacuees fly to Midlands
22 Jul 06 |  Leicestershire
Cyprus takes the evacuee strain
21 Jul 06 |  Middle East

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