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A huge ash cloud from a volcano eruption in Iceland has kept airports across Europe closed for a second day, in the most extensive shutdown of air travel since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
The European air traffic control agency, Eurocontrol said about 17,000 flights would be canceled Friday, and predicted more "significant" disruption Saturday.
The dust plume from the volcano is made up of particles of ash and tiny but sharp-edged pieces of volcanic glass, and could have a catastrophic effect on aircraft flying through it. The International Air Transport Association says the precautions to protect commercial aviation are costing airlines more than $200 million a day in lost revenue.
The restrictions are also affecting travel by world leaders. A jet carrying German Chancellor Angela Merkel home from the United States was diverted to Portugal Friday, and United Nations Security Council members were forced to cancel plans to travel Saturday to the Democratic Republic of Congo.