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Passengers' terror amid fears of inferno on board Los Angeles-bound 777 flight; The Los Angeles-bound was forced to land at a frozen airport in "one of the bleakest towns in the world".

Byline: Will Stewart

Passengers were forced to escape aplaneusing its evacuation slides after the aircraft was forced into a dramatic emergency landing at a frozen airport.

TheAir Chinaflight from Beijing to Los Angeles had to abort its journey and divert to Russia's easternmost town amid fears of a fire on board.

Warning alarms indicated a blaze in the baggage section of the plane.

Almost 200 passengers were left stranded in "one of the bleakest towns in the world", according to one commenter, at a time when they thought they would be taking in the sights of Hollywood.

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The Boeing 777 was carrying 188 passengers, plus crew, when it landed in Anadyr, capital ofRussia'sArctic region of Chukotka, where billionaire Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich was once governor.

The passengers and crew used emergency chutes to safely exit the plane.

Flight CA983 was en route from Beijing to Los Angeles - normally a 12-hour journey - when the warning alarms sounded, leading to "deep concern" on the flight deck.

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It turned out to be a false alarm.

Russian sources said there was "no confirmation" of a fire but a back-up plane has been sent from the Chinese capital to pick up the stranded passengers amid concerns of faults on the original plane.

"They planned dinner in Hollywood but instead founded themselves stuck on the floor in one of the bleakest towns in the world," said one comment.

Pictures showed passengers huddling on the snow-covered tarmac and later lying on the floor in the small airport terminal in Anadyr, population 15,500.

A video posted on social media shows passengers, including one holding a small child, trudging through the snow on the tarmac.

The temperature was -6C with icy winds.

An air safety official said: "The evacuation of passengers was carried out by inflatable chutes."

Deputy Governor Leonid Nikolayev said: "All passengers were accommodated in the international flight zone and the airport VIP-hall.

"They are provided with food and drink.

"There are doctors on the spot."

Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency said in a statement: "The crew reported that the fire alarm was triggered in the baggage compartment and the decision was made to make an emergency landing in Anadyr.

"All airport services ensured the safe landing of the aircraft."

Passengers were put up in hotels while they waited for the back-up plane to arrive.

No injuries were reported.

A spokesperson for state-owned Air China told theChina Press:"Air China apologises for the inconvenience caused to the passengers."

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CAPTION(S):

Credit: east2west news

Passengers were forced to flee the plane using its evacuation slides

Credit: east2west news

The temperature was -6C as passengers huddled outside

Credit: east2west news

Passengers lay on the floor of the airport terminal

Credit: Denis Demidov / east2west news

The plane landed in Russia's easternmost city

Credit: Pavelses / east2west news

The plane landed after a fire alarm sounded on board
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Title Annotation:News,World news
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Mar 5, 2019
Words:508
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