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November 10, 2009

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Weather leaves 1 dead, 2 lost

FOG and heavy rain left one person dead and two missing yesterday in east China and stranded tens of thousands of passengers in airports in several provinces.

The fatality occurred after a two-story shed collapsed in a rainstorm and buried six workers in Hangzhou City, capital of eastern China's Zhejiang Province, said a spokesman with the local government.

The other five, one in a critical condition, are all in hospital.

Two seamen went missing after a loaded sand freighter collided with a freighter carrying lubricant off Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, in thick fog about 4:30am yesterday, a spokesman with the Zhoushan Maritime Affairs Bureau said. The two were from the sand freighter that sank after the collision.

Nearly 10,000 passengers were stranded at Xiaoshan Airport in Hangzhou as fog and a thunderstorm forced planes to land at nearby airports, according to a statement by the airport.

In the southwest China's Chengdu, Sichuan Province, 12,000 passengers were stranded as fog forced the closure of the local airport for eight hours, delayed 123 flights and caused the cancellation of six others. The airport reopened at 11am.

Fog delayed 22 flights at the airport in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

Sleet, with ice droplets 2 to 5 millimeters in diameter, was reported in Beijing.

The capital's meteorological station said the icy rain which would be followed by snow and the sleet would continue to Thursday.

Zhang Mingying, senior engineer with the station, said sleet in Beijing was rare in November, and the average temperature this week was about 6 degrees Celsius below average for the time of year.

December was the usual month for icy weather, he said.

The Beijing Environment and Sanitation Engineering Group Co Ltd has made preparations for the pending snowfall.


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