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Melbourne Airport goes black

By Alexis Lai, CNN
updated 11:35 PM EDT, Tue July 17, 2012
Passengers wait to board their Qantas flights at Melbourne Airport on October 31, 2011.
Passengers wait to board their Qantas flights at Melbourne Airport on October 31, 2011.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Melbourne airport experienced power blackout on Wednesday morning local time
  • Blackout lasted about an hour, with flights grounded and passenger processing halted
  • Flights now back in operation, with some airlines reporting delays in flight schedules

(CNN) -- Melbourne airport was hit with a power outage on Wednesday, temporarily grounding outgoing flights and bringing other airport services to a halt.

At 9:31 a.m. local time, the Australian airport posted on its official Twitter account that a "major power outage has affected airport operations."

While the blackout lasted only an hour, according to the Age, it caused chaos in airport procedures and consternation among passengers. Aside from flight delays, customs processing was halted, security gates were closed, and shops could not conduct sales. Eventually, both security and customs began processing passengers manually, with security staff examining luggage manually.

''It's pretty frustrating. People are just sitting around and looking pissed off. Everyone has basically given up on their day,'' a woman named Ms. Hamilton told the Age.

Passengers on incoming flights were also kept waiting, including ABC News correspondent, Jen King . "Everyone was sitting around in the dark," she said. "Then we made our way out. But of course once we went past the security it looked a nightmare."

"It was just packed with people. "[We went] downstairs to the luggage area which was a bit of a fiasco as well because none of the carousels were working.

Flights eventually came back into operation, according a tweet posted at 11:08am local time by Melbourne Airport.

Airlines have reported different impacts on their flights, ranging from Qantas, whose spokeswoman told the Age that back-up power allowed its services to remain running, while Virgin Australia tweeted there would be some "minor delays."

It remains unclear what caused the power outage.

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