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February 7, 2012

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Flights held amid space debris fears

SOME 17 flights were told to defer landing at Shanghai's two airports late last month out of fear that debris from Russia's failed Mars probe might fall to the city, the civil aviation regulator of East China said yesterday.

The regulators asked the planes to circle around Pudong and Hongqiao international airports about 1am on January 16 after being informed that some pieces of the probe might be dropping to the city, said the East China Regional Administration under Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Two of the 17 planes warned that their fuel was low and were allowed to land ahead of other planes after the alert was lifted, the administration said. The Phobos-Grunthas spacecraft debris fell into the Pacific Ocean, 1,250 kilometers west of Wellington Island off Chile.


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