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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — First Lady Melania Trump is in Philadelphia as part of her “Be Best” campaign, but not before a plane scare on Wednesday morning delayed her arrival. Her plane suffered a “mechanical issue” while on her way to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia to meet with families affected by the opioid epidemic.
The plane, which departed Joint Base Andrews Air base in Prince George’s County, Maryland, was forced to turn around about 10 minutes after takeoff. The plane was carrying the first lady and a pool of press members.
Reports from inside the plane say Secret Service officers hopped up from their seats and rushed toward the front of the plane. A few moments later a thin haze of smoke could be seen. A strong burning smell was also reported.
Press members were brought wet towels and told to hold them over their faces if the smell became too strong. A crew member reported “a malfunctioning comms unit” had overheated, but the White House has not confirmed those details.
Within minutes, the smoke cleared and the smell slowly began to dissipate.
The plane took off again and landed in Philadelphia around 10:40 a.m.
“I’m sorry for a little delay, but it is good to be with all of you today,” Trump said.
The neonatal abstinence syndrome conference the first lady is attending, is being hosted by the Department of Health and Human Services. They presented staggering statistics that back up the characterization they are confronted with a public health emergency.
Nearly 194,000 women currently pregnant have abused, which comes out to 8.5 percent of all pregnancies. Trump says she is making neonatal abstinence syndrome a priority.
“There are few things harder to bear than seeing a newborn suffer and I’m anxious to do all that I can to shine a light on this epidemic,” she said.
She is meeting with families at the hospital whose children were affected by exposure to opioid while in the womb.