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Wednesday, 12 September, 2001, 07:02 GMT 08:02 UK
Passengers stranded in air alert
Passengers from a diverted flight arrive in Cardiff
Passengers from a diverted flight arrive in Cardiff
Hundreds of airline passengers are stranded at Cardiff International Airport amid a global security alert following terrorist attack on America.

Two transatlantic flights were diverted to Cardiff after the suicide plane attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.

Swansea-based Travel City Direct said 12,000 of its customers are currently on holiday in the United States - 300 were en-route to Florida when they were diverted to Canada on Tuesday.
An airline passenger tells of her disbelief at events
An airline passenger tells of her disbelief at events

Flights bound from Cardiff to the United States are expected to be suspended amid restrictions brought in by US authorities.

Some of the 270 passengers bound for Los Angeles on a British Airways flight from London were put up in hotels in Cardiff, while others returned to Heathrow airport by bus.

Meanwhile, relatives of people living and working in New York have been hampered in their efforts to contact them by jammed telephone exchanges in America.

Gwenda Jones, from Cardiff, was relieved to hear her 24-year-old son Ed and his girlfriend were safe and well. Mr Jones had contacted his sister from the devastated district of Manhattan to say he was unhurt.

Relatives of people in the United States can contact an emergency helpline on - 0207 008 0000.

Three other men from the Caernarfon area of north Wales in New York on holiday were also reported to be safe and well.

In Wales, Cardiff airport terminal manager Dennis Bailey said passengers had been fully cooperating with the heightened security measures in the wake of the terrorist attacks.
Gwenda Jones, mother of man in New York
Gwenda Jones: Son safe and well

None of the scheduled flights bound for Florida from Cardiff are now scheduled to fly on Wednesday and other flights later in the week may be affected.

Assembly First Minister Rhodri Morgan has ordered flags on civic buildings to be flown at half mast and Ford's Bridgend plant has done the same.

A book of condolence to the American victims has been opened at Cardiff City Hall.

The Bishop of St Asaph, the Right Reverend John Davies, has appealed for calm and caution.

He said the events in America could lead to a "climate of terror" reaching round the world.

Pupils and staff at Christ College, Brecon, in mid Wales, have said prayers for the victims of the terrorist attacks.

Archbishop of Wales Rowan Williams
Archbishop of Wales Rowan Williams

The parents of some pupils living in New York were found to be safe and well.

Candles have been lit at churches round Wales in remembrance of the victims.

Pop band Hear'Say - who include Cardiff-born Noel Sullivan - decided to go ahead with a concert in New York on Tuesday night.

They observed a minute's silence for the victims of the attack, which US officials believe will run into thousands.

The Archbishop of Wales, the Most Reverend Rowan Williams, was just a few blocks away in Manhattan from the scene of the disaster.

He witnessed the second plane crashing into the south tower of the World Trade Center. A Church in Wales spokesman said Dr Williams had telephoned his office to say he was safe and well but "extremely shocked".

Assembly First Minister Rhodri Morgan was among the first to condemn the "barbaric" events in the United States.

BBC Wales's Sian Lloyd reports
"Cardiff International Airport is operating with heightened security"
See also:

12 Sep 01 | Americas
Thousands dead in 'evil' attacks
11 Sep 01 | Americas
Eyewitnesses tell of horror
12 Sep 01 | UK
Attacks cancel UK flights
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