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Passengers kept on plane 16 hours at China stop

BEIJING — A Cathay Pacific flight from New York to Hong Kong was stranded for more than 16 hours in a Chinese city with all 256 passengers kept on board for the entire time late last month because of bad weather and limits on the crew's work hours.

Flight 831 was diverted to the southern city of Zhuhai on the night of March 30 because of a hailstorm. The plane sat on the runway for hours until Cathay Pacific, which has headquarters in Hong Kong, sent in a new flight crew, with the first crew having reached work-hour limits.

All passengers remained on board as required by Chinese immigration and customs regulations at Zhuhai, Cathay Pacific said in a statement Saturday.

Cathay Pacific said the plane took off at 1:08 p.m., more than 16 hours after it landed in Zhuhai. The flight arrived in Hong Kong a little over an hour later.

The flight usually takes 15 to 16 hours, but this flight turned out to be more than 34 hours long with the stopover.

A Chinese government statement said local officials provided passengers with drinking water and food.