Volcano leaves 200 Bangladeshis trapped in Brussels airport



Brussels: Some 200 travellers from Bangladesh were spending a second day inside Brussels airport on Friday, without a visa to leave the building and with an ash cloud grounding all flights out, an airport spokesmen said.

The passengers had been diverted to Brussels yesterday after their plane was unable to land in London, where airports were closed due to the spreading cloud of volcanic ash emanating from Iceland, which has caused havoc for air travellers across Europe.

Shortly after the group of some 200 Bangladeshis arrived in Brussels, the whole of Belgian airspace was likewise closed down for fears that the ash could cause serious accidents when ingested by plane engines.

"The problem is that they have no visa to enter the Schengen zone so that's why they had to stay at the airport last night," airport spokesman Paul de Backer told AFP.

"We are now looking to see if we can find a solution with immigration to avoid them staying a second night in these uncomfortable conditions."

The Shengen border-free zone includes Belgium and most other EU nations but not Britain.

The stranded group have had to remain flight side at the airport, as they cannot go through to the public zones.

Some of the Bangladeshi passengers also held British passports, said De Backer, but he was unsure whether that group had left the airport, as they would be entitled to do.

PTI