An airplane evacuating as many as 240 Americans from a Chinese city at the center of a virus outbreak departed Wednesday before dawn, and is en route to the U.S., a U.S. State Department official has told The Associated Press The U.S. government chartered the plane to fly out diplomats from the U.S. Consulate in Wuhan, where the latest coronavirus outbreak started, and other U.S. citizens. The plane will make a refueling stop in Alaska before flying on to Ontario, California, the U.S. Embassy in China has said. Wuhan is the epicenter of a new virus that has sickened thousands and killed more than 100 and the official said Tuesday that the plane left the city before dawn Wednesday, China time. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly.
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