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AIR SPACE

UFO Spotted Over Chinese Airport

Planes were dramatically diverted away from a major Chinese airport after reports of a UFO circling a runway, the Shanghai Daily reported Thursday.

The mysterious object was spotted Wednesday afternoon floating high above Jiangbei International Airport in the city of Chongqing, an important aviation hub for southwestern China.

Worried officials diverted several flights to other airports before it disappeared about 50 minutes later and air traffic was allowed to return to normal.

The Chongqing government has not offered any explanation for the UFO, Shanghai Daily said. However, skeptical airport workers believe it was a sky lantern or a large balloon, the newspaper said.

Wednesday's scare mirrors an incident in July last year when Xiaoshan airport in the eastern city of Hangzhou was closed after baffled air traffic controllers spotted a UFO on their radar screens.

The object vanished but footage of a strange glowing orb streaking across the night sky was posted on YouTube, sparking global interest in the supposed close encounter.