July 10, 2015 / 3:21 PM / 3 years ago

Thousands stranded as Indonesia's Bali airport shut after volcanic eruption

DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Nearly 20,000 passengers were left stranded on Friday at one of Indonesia’s busiest international airports on the resort island of Bali after it was forced to close because of a volcanic eruption, an airport official said.

Mount Raung in East Java has been erupting for nearly a week, forcing several airports to close and causing widespread flight disruption on Friday.

“Bali airport will remain closed until noon on Saturday,” Farid Indra Nugraha, a spokesman for airport operator Angkasa Pura 1, said in a text message.

Two of the five airports that had been closed earlier on Friday have been re-opened, Nugraha added.

More than 200 domestic and international flights were canceled in Bali, the airport’s general manager Trikora Harjo told Reuters.

National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia had resumed operating some routes but canceled all its flights to and from Bali.

“Bali is our second largest hub and this will also affect our international connecting flights,” said Ikhsan Rosan, a spokesman for the airline.

Additional reporting by Kanupriya Kapoor and Fransiska Nangoy in JAKARTA; Editing by Paul Tait

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