Hundreds of Dallas flights canceled for a fourth day

April 6 Fri Apr 6, 2012 6:25pm EDT

April 6 (Reuters) - Hundreds of flights from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport were canceled for a fourth consecutive day on Friday after a swarm of tornadoes touched down in the area on Tuesday, damaging more than 100 planes on the ground, American Airlines said.

American Airlines canceled 296 flights Friday and added 17 extra flights to move people from places where they had been diverted earlier in the week, spokeswoman Rhonda Rathje said.

The storm damaged more than 100 American Airlines planes on the ground at the world's eighth busiest airport, mostly from hail, and 51 of those remain out of commission, she said.

The large number of damaged aircraft has led to fewer aircraft available and prompted the cancellations, she said.

The number of cancellations should decline to only 27 flights on Saturday and one on Sunday, she said.

About a dozen tornadoes touched down in the Dallas metropolitan area on Tuesday, damaging hundreds of buildings and injuring at least 17 people. No one was killed.

Passengers at the airport were rushed away from windows to stairwells and bathrooms during the storm. More than a thousand passengers were stranded at the airport Tuesday night.