Smoke forces Melania Trump’s plane to land

Smoke forces Melania Trump’s plane to land

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Media captionThe cabin filled with smoke on the first lady’s flight

A plane carrying US First Lady Melania Trump was forced to turn around and land after the cabin filled with smoke.

“Everything is fine and everyone is safe,” a spokesperson for Mrs Trump said, adding that a “minor mechanical issue” was to blame.

Reporters on board the flight were given wet towels and “told to hold them over their faces if the smell became too strong,” an NBC journalist said.

Mrs Trump has since landed in Philadelphia as planned.

She is visiting the city to meet families hit by opioid abuse. Her first stop was a hospital, where she gave a speech and told the audience: “I’m sorry for a little delay, but it is good to be with all of you today.”

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Earlier, President Donald Trump said he had spoken to the first lady after her aircraft was forced to return to the airbase it had set off from just 10 minutes before in Maryland.

“She got on another plane. I said: ‘I hope this plane is better than the first one,'” he told Fox News.

One of the journalists travelling alongside the first lady as part of the press pack earlier tweeted a photo of them being “calmly led off the tarmac” from that first flight.

A crew member is quoted by US media as saying a “malfunctioning comms unit that had overheated” was the cause of the issue, but the White House has not confirmed this.

Mrs Trump recently made her first major solo trip abroad to Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt.

Image copyright AFP

Image caption Mrs Trump recently toured four African nations in her first major solo trip

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