DALLAS-- The huge earthquake that struck off the coast of Chile, killing more than 200 people, also badly damaged Santiago's main airport.
Flights in the air at the time were diverted to neighboring Argentina and passengers at D/FW International Airport - waiting to fly south - found they couldn't. Chilean families vacationing here in the United States are now trying to find a way to get home.
After a Mexican vacation, the Siles' family of nine was headed back home to Chile, when the quake struck. Now, they're stuck in Dallas.
We're staying in the U.S. for one week, said Camilla Siles.
Dozens of families are still stranded at D/FW. They havebeen waiting all day in the terminal. American Airlines has one flight a day to Chile's capital Santiago, which has been canceled. Many flights were diverted back in mid-air.
A group of business college students from the University of Tennessee were supposed to arrive in Chile this morning but half way there, they were turned around and diverted to Dallas.
The trip is off for now and the group is headed back to Tennessee.
Although our tour provider tells us Santiago is still operational, this is not the week that our speakers need to be focusing on the MBA program. They need to be focusing on the important things that are going on in their world, said Amy Cathey of the University of Tennessee.
Officials have said Santiago's airport will stay closed until Tuesday. Many families are being told to brace to be stranded in the United States for at least a week.