United States

First lady Melania Trump’s plane turns around after ‘mechanical issue’ on board

First lady Melania Trump arrives at Lilongwe International Airport, in Lumbadzi, Malawi, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018.

Carolyn Kaster/AP
Corrections and Clarifications: An earlier version of this story mentioned the wrong date. The incident occurred on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON – The airplane which was supposed to deliver First Lady Melania Trump to Philadelphia had to make a sudden return to Joint Base Andrews on Wednesday morning because of a “mechanical issue.”

Trump’s rep, Stephanie Grisham, confirmed to USA TODAY there was a “minor mechanical issue” on the plane, which a pool report identified as a Boeing C-32A. Grisham added: “Everything is fine and everyone is safe.”

About 15 minutes into the flight, smoke was visible and a burning scent detectable inside the plane, according to a pool report. A staffer for the first lady then announced the plane had encountered a “mechanical problem” and would return to Joint Base Andrews, the report continued.

Damp washcloths were given to passengers to combat the smell and the plane touched down shortly after 9 a.m., per the report.

Footage shared by The Hill on Twitter shows Trump deplaning.

Trump’s trip to Philadelphia for an event on opioid addiction. She was headed to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital to get face-time with the kin of children who were exposed to opioids in utero.

Grisham confirmed to USA TODAY the trip is going on as scheduled following the maintenance issue. A second aircraft was boarded at 9:55, the pool report states.