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Investigation under way after 13 airlines mysteriously vanish from radars in Europe

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It is believed that some of the planes were long-haul flights carrying passengers on board.

Markus Pohanka, a spokesman for Austro Control, said relevant EU agencies have been asked to investigate the 'unprecedented' situation.

He added that other unnamed neighbouring countries had similar incidents and the EU's Eurocontrol, and European Aviation Safety Agency has been asked for a probe.

Pohanka did not identify the other nations that the European flights were flying over when they disappeared from secondary surveillance radars.

However, a report in the Kurier newspaper said as well as in Vienna in Austria, flight controllers in Munich and Karlsruhe in Germany, and in Prague, the Czech Republic, and Bratislava in Slovakia also reported related problems.

The report said German air traffic control had confirmed the black outs, adding that the reason there were no collisions was due to the air traffic controllers.

It could have had dramatic consequences, as 4,000 planes take to the sky in Austria every day - with 50 in the air at any one time, according to the report.

Air traffic was conducted 'blind' - by voice only - during the temporary outage, it claimed.

The revelations echo the circumstances surrounding missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing which disappeared on March 8.

The Boeing 777 - with 239 passengers and crew on board - vanished from civilian radar screens about an hour into the night flight.




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