Angry Passengers Riot Over Delays at Zhengzhou Airport

Passengers angry about delays due to heavy snow started a riot at Zhengzhou airport in China by passengers angry about delays caused Thursday night.

Passengers stormed check-in desks and smashed computers and other equipment after the airport closed for more than five hours due to the snow on Thursday, newspapers reported.

Pictures on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo microblogging service showed police trying to calm angry crowds and broken signs at airline counters.

"There were not enough seats and passengers had to sit on their luggage eating instant noodles. The airport staff were indifferent and said 'I don't know' to questions asked of them," Henan radio said on its microblog.

The Global Times, a tabloid published by the official People's Daily, described the incident as a "riot". It added that the airport finally reopened late on Thursday.

The Chinese government has told airlines and airports to better explain the causes of delays and to provide free hotels and food, but the airlines complain the problem is rooted in an inexperienced traveling public which is still not used to the problems associated with flying.

Air travel is booming in China on the back of explosive economic growth, driving huge orders for foreign aircraft manufacturers and an ambitious airport building scheme taking in some of the country's most remote areas.