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US election 2016: Background

Plane drama for Trump’s running mate Mike Pence, as jet skids off runway in New York

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 October, 2016, 9:16am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 October, 2016, 7:03pm

A campaign plane carrying US Republican vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence skidded off the runway after landing in the rain at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport on Thursday.

There were no injuries, the campaign said, and Pence pledged to hit the campaign trail again on Friday.

“So thankful everyone on our plane is safe,” the Indiana governor said on Twitter after the incident. “Grateful for our first responders & the concern & prayers of so many.”

Live television footage showed Pence standing in the rain near the plane among emergency vehicles, talking to police and other officials.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump called Pence to check on him after the incident, the campaign said.

“Mr Trump did reach out to Governor. Pence. He’s glad that everyone on board is safe,” Trump spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in an emailed statement.

Trump called him from his motorcade while en route to a rally in Geneva, Ohio.

There were about 30 people onboard the plane, including Pence’s wife, Karen, and daughter Charlotte, MSNBC said.

The plane was coming from Fort Dodge, Iowa, where Pence had participated in a campaign event.

The takeoff from Iowa was delayed for about two hours because of bad weather in New York. Pence had earlier posted on Twitter a picture of himself playing football in the bright sun on grass near his plane in Iowa, citing the delay in leaving for New York.

Pence has cancelled his appearance at a fundraiser scheduled for Thursday night at Trump Tower in Manhattan, MSNBC reported.

“We could feel the plane sliding off the runway and then (it) came to a very sharp halt” after landing, CNN producer Elizabeth Landers, who was on the plane, told the channel.

“The governor and everyone on board is okay,” she said.

The Boeing 737 slid completely off the runway onto grass next to the tarmac, she added, saying there was mud and grass on the plane’s body and “gashes” on the runway.

Video footage broadcast from the runway soon after the incident showed steady rain falling. Pence could be seen shaking hands and posing for photos with first responders.