Demonstrators invaded the terminal building at Hong Kong International Airport for a second day Tuesday, forcing the cancellation of all flights out of the restive territory from the late afternoon.
Scuffles broke out earlier in the day as black-clad protesters physically blocked and pushed back against travelers attempting to pass from the departure level through to security and immigration check points.
“We’re supposed to be home right now,” said Sehem, a 23-year-old medical student trying to return to Europe. “We’ve been in the airport for more than 24 hours, we’re super tired, we just want to go see our families—and we have exams in ten days. We need to get home and study.”
Many passengers vented their anger at airline staff. One man screamed “I want to go home!” at an airline representative. When protesters complained about being unable to reach the departure gates, protesters chanted “Blame the government!”
The latest cancellations come a day after protesters brought one of the world’s busiest airports to a standstill, forcing the grounding of all arrivals and departures from mid-afternoon Monday and leaving hundreds of travelers stranded.