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Flights diverted to Milwaukee because of Chicago radar problems

A worker walks underneath an American Airlines airplane at Miami International airport in Miami, Florida in this November 29, 2011, file pho
A worker walks underneath an American Airlines airplane at Miami International airport in Miami, Florida in this November 29, 2011, file pho

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Twenty flights were diverted to Milwaukee yesterday, after both of Chicago's major airports were shut down for a few hours. The F-A-A said smoke emerged in a regional radar approach control facility in the Chicago suburb of Elgin. That shut down all air traffic for several hours at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports. Officials said the smoke came from a motor in the facility's ventilating system, and there was not a fire.

In the meantime another routing center in Aurora Illinois handled the region's air traffic.

During the shutdown, seven Southwest flights were diverted to Milwaukee's Mitchell Intenational, along with seven United flights, four from American, and one each from Delta and U-S Airways.

The Milwaukee County medical examiner said one man collapsed and died while leaving one of the diverted planes. The death was not suspicious.

In addition, a few connecting flights from Milwaukee to Chicago were delayed yesterday afternoon. The two cities were the only ones affected by the radar building incident.

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