July 8, 2006

ODD NEWS :Tokyo airport shuts after man runs on runway to exercise

TOKYO — Haneda airport suspended flight arrivals and departures for about two hours on Saturday morning after its infrared ray sensor system detected a person crossing a runway without permission, who turned out to be an inexperienced worker, airport officials said. The incident had caused delays of up to two hours for 70 flights departing and arriving at the airport as of 9:30 a.m., they said.

The system sensed an object at around 4 a.m. around the most seaward runway. A security camera detected a man wearing an athletic shirt crossing the runway. It followed and then lost sight of him.

The Haneda airport office of the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry closed the runway for about two hours from around 4:30 a.m. pending the whereabouts of the man, who was a 22-year-old part-time worker at a company cleaning airplanes under contract from All Nippon Airways Co.

The man told the office that he was not used to working at airports and just wanted to exercise next to the sea.

The airport's other two runways were closed from late Friday night to Saturday morning for construction work.

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