ROCHESTER, Minn. - By its sixth hour sitting on a deserted tarmac, Continental Express Flight 2816 had taken on the smell of diapers and an overwhelmed lone toilet.

What should have been a 2 1/2-hour trip from Houston to Minneapolis had moved into its ninth hour, and the 47 passengers on board had burned through the free pretzels and drinks handed out early in their Friday night flight from Houston.

Passengers on another flight that had been diverted to the airport in Rochester, Minn., because of storms were allowed to disembark, and were put on a bus that would take them the remaining 85 miles to Minneapolis. And the terminal, where passengers could at least stretch their legs, breathe fresh air and use the vending machines, was a mere 50 yards away.

47 spend ‘nightmare’ 9 hours in grounded plane - News-