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Smoke Fills Cabin, Forcing Down Melania's Plane

She was supposed to be visiting a Philadelphia hospital
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 17, 2018 9:40 AM CDT
In this July 13, 2018, file photo, first lady Melania Trump takes a seat during a visit to The Royal Hospital Chelsea in central London.   (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, Pool, File)

(Newser) – First lady Melania Trump's plane was forced to return to a Washington area military base on Wednesday because of smoke in the cabin, the AP reports. Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said "everyone is fine and everyone is safe" after the plane returned to Joint Base Andrews. Trump had been scheduled to visit a Philadelphia hospital and meet with families of children affected by exposure to opioids while in the womb. Grisham said the first lady's team was "evaluating" whether to make other arrangements to travel to the event. According to TV reporters traveling with the first lady, the flight was in the air about 10 minutes when smoke filled the cabin and there was a burning smell, and then Secret Service agents rushed to the front of the plane. It wasn't immediately clear what caused the problem, which Grisham called a "minor mechanical issue."

The event was planned for Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was to join the first lady; he was also on the plane, per Politico. The hospital has provided care to mothers with opioid use disorder and their newborn children for more than 45 years. Mrs. Trump was to tour a neonatal intensive-care nursery and speak at an HHS conference on a new system that tracks infants suffering from opiate withdrawal. The first lady's intended visit is part of stops to promote her "Be Best" campaign, which focuses on issues affecting children, including the importance of healthy pregnancies. (Melania is getting it from all corners lately.)


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