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Flights resume after lightning strikes at BWI

Friday - 9/13/2013, 7:13am  ET

Stranded passengers wait in line at Baltimore Washington International Airport Thursday afternoon. Flights were halted after an equipment outage at the air traffic control tower. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
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Passengers: Flights delayed hours

Andrew Mollenbeck, WTOP


Passengers at Dulles trying to get to Baltimore

Ari Ashe, WTOP


WASHINGTON - Flights have resumed at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport after lightning hit the air traffic control tower Thursday, halting takeoffs and landings.

Air traffic is now moving and all runways are open. Despite the reopening, many of the flights set to take off before 8 p.m. Thursday were canceled or delayed.

By early Friday morning, flights were back to normal with delays of 15 minutes or less, although stranded passengers could be seen trying to catch some sleep at the airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which operates the air traffic control tower, ordered all arrivals and departures halted after the lightning hit the tower about 2:20 p.m., the agency says.

The Associated Press reports one worker was injured after the lighting strike.

WBAL reports that the suspected lightning knocked out power to the tower preventing air traffic controllers from communicating with pilots.

Some flights were diverted to other airports, including Dulles International Airport, which also experienced severe weather that halted planes for a time.

Other airports in the Northeast also experienced weather delays, according to the FAA.

One passenger who spoke with WTOP from BWI says the airport kept travelers informed over the public address system.

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