How Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan crashed a flight tracking website?

A flight tracking website swamped as hundreds of thousands of people wanted to find out whether the US House speaker, Nancy Pelosi would arrive in Taiwan, in defiance of China’s angry protests, AFP reports.

There were so many of them, a site record of over 708,000 that Flightradar24 said it had to limit non-subscribers’ access in order to keep the service online.

The company said in a statement, “Unfortunately, due to the volume of users, it was necessary to deploy our waiting room functionality, which meters access.”

The immediate fixation on the plane carrying Pelosi, dubbed SPAR19, had been driven in large part by unpredictability over if Pelosi would go on to the trip that she had refused to confirm.

It’s crucial because, in 25 years, Pelosi is the highest-profile elected US official to visit Taiwan and Beijing strongly believes that her presence is a major provocation.

Once the plane arrives safely on the Taipei tarmac, there is speculation that China might take action against the jet.

Flightradar24 said that shortly after SPAR19 landed, normal access for all users has been restored quickly.