The baggage of Russian tourists evacuated from Egypt is piling up in the public spaces of Moscow's Domodedovo Airport as it awaits collection, according to Russian media reports.
Photographs posted online by bloggers and Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda show hundreds of suitcases littering the floor of Domodedovo.
Russian banned all flights to Egypt after the loss of a Kogalymavia aircraft over the Sinai Peninsula at the cost of 224 lives on Oct. 31. Fears it was a bomb that brought down flight 9268 has meant Russian holidaymakers in Egypt are being flown home separately from their luggage.
“It's difficult to get through the arrivals hall of Domodedovo, there are suitcases everywhere. In some places they are roped off with ribbon. In other places they are stacked against the wall on both sides. There's nowhere else to put anything,” blogger Dmitry Gusakov wrote Friday on Facebook.
The problems with baggage delivery appear to have escalated earlier this week. The Emergency Situations Ministry said Friday that 480 tons of luggage had been transported from Egypt to Russia since the flight ban was ordered by President Vladimir Putin on Nov. 6.
“Domodedovo met me with fields of suitcases which, it looks like, there is no space for,” blogger Irek Murtazin wrote on his blog on the LiveJournal site Wednesday.
Komsomolskaya Pravda reported late Thursday that there were “thousands (maybe tens of thousands) of suitcases and bags in several halls.”
According to Komsomolskaya Pravda, the owners of the baggage can come to the airport to pick up their luggage within three days of its arrival. At the end of the three-day period, all the baggage will be sent on via Russia's postal service.
Up to 70,000 Russians were estimated to be in Egypt when the Airbus A321 crashed. Egypt’s Red Sea resorts are hugely popular with Russian tourists and the country is the second most popular foreign destination for Russian vacationers after Turkey.
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