Wiganers stranded in Egypt amid security fears

British tourists have their documents checked by Egyptian police as they prepare to be evacuated from Sharm el-Sheikh airport
British tourists have their documents checked by Egyptian police as they prepare to be evacuated from Sharm el-Sheikh airport
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SEVERAL Wigan residents have been left stranded in Egypt after all flights were grounded following the tragedy of a Russian jet which was brought down by a suspected explosive device last week.

Sarah Morris, of Ince, is in the Coral Sea Holiday Village in Sharm el-Sheikh with her nine-year-old son Callum, and is concerned about whether she will be allowed to fly home on Sunday.

Extra tourist police have been drafted in and we are not letting terrorists ruin our holiday

Sarah Morris

The 39-year-old said: “It’s been very scary due to the amount of speculation. Staff from Thomson have been amazing and everyone has been told to just enjoy their holiday. Our friends from Astley were due to fly back on Thursday and were going to fly home on Friday, but were told last minute that the Egyptian authorities are not letting British flights land.

“However they still have to go and check in. It’s a joke - checking in for a flight you know you aren’t getting on.

“Our suitcases are not allowed to travel with us - we are just allowed 5kg of hand luggage each. We feel totally safe. Extra tourist police have been drafted in and we are not letting terrorists ruin our holiday.”

Mark Goode said: “We flew out last Saturday, just a few hours after the Russian air crash. Our flight was delayed by two hours whilst they had an emergency briefing to determine security in flying to the region. We did not hear about what happened until Wednesday night having received a text from family. With no travel rep in the hotel, it is difficult to keep up to date with the situation.

“We are scheduled to leave tonight. Current advice appears to be to try to extend our hotel stay by a further two days.”

Andrew and Lindsey Thompson, of Leigh, were enjoying their honeymoon and are now stranded. Andrew told ITV News: “Some people are upset and frightened, whilst others are just getting on with their holiday and hoping for the best.” His new wife said: “My seven-year-old daughter is worried. All my family is at home and keeping us informed on what is going on. It is on the news here but we still don’t know when the authorities are planning flights.”

Meanwhile, some residents have had to cancel their planned trip to Egypt and are waiting to see if they can get their money back.

British spies uncovered evidence that suggests a bomb was smuggled into the hold of the plane on October 31, which killed 224 people. The discovery prompted Britain to dispatch experts to Sharm el Sheikh to review security at the airport - leading to the suspension of all flights to and from the resort.

Two easyJet flights left Sharm el-Sheikh on Friday morning, but other passengers were sent back to their hotels, with the airline saying Egyptian authorities had prevented a further eight planes from arriving.

Egypt’s civil aviation ministry said the numbers were limited by airport capacity.