First lady’s plane lands safely after ‘mechanical issue’

Lewis Collier
October 17, 2018

A plane carrying first lady Melania Trump was forced to turn around shortly after takeoff Wednesday after reports of a "burning smell" by members of the press on board the flight.

The reports say a thin haze of smoke could be seen and there was a smell of burning. The plane is reported to have experienced an unspecified 'mechanical issue'.

They were provided with wet towels to hold over their faces in case the acrid smell became too strong.

The plane safely landed at Joint Base Andrews at approximately 9:05 a.m.

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An aide said: "She loves baking and just made a decision to take something along with her on the spur of the moment". Meghan and Harry will be touring Australia, Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand for two weeks.

Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said "everyone is fine and everyone is safe" after the plane returned to Joint Base Andrews.

Trump was heading to Philadelphia to meet with families of children who were affected by exposure to opioids while in the womb.

The event was planned for Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was to join the first lady.

Addressing America's opioid crisis was one of President Trump's key campaign promises, and the topic has also been taken on board by the first lady, whose hospital visit forms part of her "Be Best" campaign, which focuses on children's issues.

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