CBC Digital Archives CBC butterfly logo

CBC Archives has a new look: Please go to cbc.ca/archives to access the new site.

The page you are looking at will not be updated.

9/11 passengers stranded in Newfoundland and Labrador

The Story

Hungry, tired, and far from home, 17,000 international airline passengers find themselves in Newfoundland and Labrador on Sept. 11, 2001. With all air traffic halted in the United States due to a deadly series of hijackings, their planes made hasty landings at the nearest available airport. But, as this CBC-TV report shows, the unexpected visitors have found a meal and a bed thanks to the hard work of a small army of volunteers. 

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Sept. 12, 2001
Reporter: Lynda Calvert
Duration: 2:55

Did You know?

• According to the Gander International Airport, 39 planes were diverted there on Sept. 11, 2001. About 6,500 passengers had to be processed by the town's single immigration officer, aided by another three who drove in from St. John's.

• It took up to four days for all the aircraft and passengers to leave Gander for their destinations.

• The airport at St. John's accepted 21 diverted flights and 16 more went to the Newfoundland cities of Stephenville, Goose Bay and Deer Lake. (Source: Nav Canada)

• One of the reasons so many planes were sent to Newfoundland and Labrador was to keep them away from large, urban centres such as Toronto and Montreal. Officials didn't know whether the planes posed a threat and wanted to minimize any potential threat to large buildings in Canada. 




Sept. 11, 2001: Attack on America more