Melania Trump’s plane forced to turn around after smoke fills cabin

Melania Trump’s plane was forced to return to an airbase after a mechanical issue caused smoke to fill the cabin.

Journalists travelling with the First Lady reported that a thin haze of smoke and a burning smell spread through the plane around 10 minutes after it took off.

Reporters were brought wet towels to hold over their faces if the smell became too strong. Nobody was hurt in the incident and the plane landed safely back at Joint Base Andrews.

Mrs Trump was travelling to a hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to meet with families of children who were affected by exposure to opioids while in the womb when the incident occurred.

One of the journalist’s on the plane said an aide to the First Lady came into their compartment to inform them that there was a “mechanical problem”.

The Boeing C-32A jet returned to Joint Base Andrews shortly after 9am local time and a replacement aircraft is being arranged for the trip.

Mrs Trump could be seen departing the original plane dressed in a belted blue coat. Alex Azar, the US Secretary of Health and Human Services, was also on the flight. 

Stephanie Grisham, Trump’s communications director, told CNN the incident was a "minor mechanical issue". "Everything is fine and everyone is safe," she said. 

Mrs Trump also plans to tour a neonatal intensive care nursery on Wednesday and speak at a US health department conference on a new system that tracks infants suffering from opiate withdrawal.

The First Lady’s visit is part  of her "Be Best" campaign, which focuses on major issues affecting children, including the importance of healthy pregnancies. 

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