US first lady Melania Trump’s plane was forced to return to a Washington area military base on Wednesday because of smoke in the cabin.
Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said “everyone is fine and everyone is safe” after the plane returned to Joint Base Andrews.
Mrs Trump had been scheduled to visit a Philadelphia hospital and meet with families of children affected by exposure to opioids while in the womb.
A second plane was made ready for takeoff within 50 minutes, and the first lady was on her way again.
US President Donald Trump joked about the mechanical issue, saying he had spoken to his wife and she is fine.
“I said, ‘I hope this plane’s better than the first one’,” he quipped. “But yeah, they had a problem. Yeah, but she’s fine.”
According to TV reporters travelling with Mrs Trump, the flight was in the air for about 10 minutes when smoke filled the cabin, and then Secret Service agents rushed to the front of the plane.
It was not immediately clear what caused the problem.
The event was planned for Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was to join the first lady.
The hospital has provided care to mothers with opioid use disorder and their newborn children for more than 45 years.
Mrs Trump was to tour a neonatal intensive care nursery and speak at an HHS conference on a new system that tracks infants suffering from opiate withdrawal.
Mrs Trump’s intended visit was to be one of stops as she promotes her “Be Best” campaign, which focuses on issues affecting children, including the importance of healthy pregnancies.
Originally published as Melania’s plane fills with smoke