Volcanic Ash Disrupts Air Travel World-Wide

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A volcanic eruption in Iceland is continuing to disrupt air traffic around the world, leaving an ever-widening trail of grounded flights.

British authorities said a huge ash cloud from the volcano means there will be no flights over England until Saturday at the earliest.

The ash in the cloud is capable of stalling jet engines if an airliner flew through it. The smoke and ash can also affect aircraft visibility.

Click play for an update with CBN News Reporter Mark Martin.

"Our radar is not sufficiently reliable, even the radar on the ground, to be able to tell us where these particles are in every instance," explained ABC News aviation consultant John Nance.  "So the only possible way of handling this is avoid it, avoid it and avoid it."

In Amsterdam, passengers lined up for blankets to put on makeshift beds at the terminal.  About 2,000 people spent the night there and that's a relief, especially since stranded travelers elsewhere were without a bed.

"We can't get hotel accommodations," one person said. "It is all booked."

From Frankfurt to Paris, Brussels to London, major airports are in gridlock.  On Friday alone, an estimated 17,000 flights were cancelled -- the worst interference with air travel since 9/11.

Iceland's volcano began erupting Wednesday, April 14. The last eruption was reported in 1821 and lasted for more than a year.

That historic fact has passengers stranded on six continents cringing, along with world airline executives who say they're losing at least $200 million a day because of disruptions.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization is warning Europeans to remain indoors to avoid the ash, fearing potential health risks.

WHO officials said the substance could pose a threat since inhaled particles can get in a person's lungs, causing respiratory problems - particularly for those already suffering from asthma and other respiratory diseases.

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