Dozens of flights and trains arriving or departing New Delhi were delayed or canceled Friday due to thick fog over a large part of northern India, while a cold wave sweeping the region claimed six more lives, officials said. The cold weather killed six people in the impoverished state of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, bringing the number of people to have died from cold-related ailments in the past three weeks to 51, said police officer Manoj Kumar Srivastava.
Also on Thursday night, three people were killed and two injured in a collision between a truck and a car blamed on the fog near the city of Agra, Srivastava said. Weather officials, who attributed the foggy conditions to atmospheric disturbances over the Himalayan region of Kashmir and Pakistan, said they didn't expect any change soon. Rains were also forecast in many parts of Uttar Pradesh, said weather officer R. K. Verma.
Meanwhile, more than 30 domestic and international flights scheduled to arrive in or depart the capital were delayed or canceled because of fog, stranding thousands of travelers, airport officials in New Delhi said. "Visibility was very poor. No flight could take off in the morning," from New Delhi's two airports, R. N. Pathak, a spokesman for the Airport Authority of India, said.
A duty officer at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport said at least four international flights were diverted to other cities and 10 others were delayed. Trains to New Delhi also were delayed because of poor visibility, the railroad ministry said in an update. NDTV news channel said at least 18 trains to the capital were running behind schedule, some by more than four hours, reports the AP. N.U.