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The U.S. government on Wednesday imposed its first fine on an international carrier for keeping passengers aboard a plane during an extended ground delay, slapping a $150,000 penalty on Pakistan International Airlines.

Boeing 777-240ER AP-BHX 1 Pakistan International Airlines

The airline felt the weather was too dangerous for passengers to exit the plane. Photo by Ronnie Macdonald.

The Transportation Department said the airline violated its time limit for overseas flights held on the tarmac for weather, mechanical or other problems.

The plane sat on the tarmac for nearly five hours, according to transportation officials, who alleged PIA made no effort to let passengers off or ask airport officials for help.