Pence’s plane slides off runway at NYC airport

Mike Pence, LaGuardia Airport, plane, slide on runway
Republican vice presidential candidate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence talks with firefighters at New York's LaGuardia Airport after his campaign plane slide off the runway while landing on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. (TV Network Pool via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence’s campaign plane slid off a runway during a rainstorm at New York’s LaGuardia Airport late Thursday, tearing up two tracks of concrete before coming to rest on a patch of grass.

When the plane came to a stop, U.S. Secret Service agents rushed from the back of the plane to the front, where Pence was seated, to check on the candidate. He said he was fine, though, and no one had been injured.

“We can see mud on the front windows,” a calm Pence said in the press cabin about a minute after the plane came to rest.

Later, the Indiana governor tweeted: “So thankful everyone on our plane is safe. Grateful for our first responders & the concern & prayers of so many. Back on the trail tomorrow!”

In Geneva, Ohio, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump told his supporters that Pence had come “pretty close to grave, grave danger.” But, he added: “I just spoke to Mike Pence and he’s fine. Everybody’s fine.”

Democrat Hillary Clinton tweeted: “Glad to hear @mike_pence, his staff, Secret Service, and the crew are all safe.”

The plane was coming to New York from Fort Dodge, Iowa, where it had made a hard landing but stayed on the runway earlier Thursday afternoon. After a rally in Fort Dodge, Pence’s flight to New York was delayed because of weather. The Indiana governor spent about 20 minutes tossing a football with his staff, reporters and Secret Service agents near the Iowa runway.

Upon arriving at LaGuardia, after a bumpy approach, the Boeing 737 Eastern Airlines charter landed roughly, making first contact with the runway concrete. The pilot slammed on the brakes and the plane began to slide sideways. When it stopped, passengers could smell burning rubber.

The Federal Aviation Administration said, “A crushable concrete runway safety technology called an Engineered Material Arresting System stopped the plane.”

The 37 passengers, including Pence, and 11 crew members were evacuated through the back of the plane.

The Port Authority shut down the runway following the incident, but later reopened it. In a statement the agency confirmed that the plane had “overshot” the runway, there were no injuries and there was no fire.

Pence spokesman Marc Lotter said Pence spoke with Trump shortly after the landing. The vice presidential candidate also called into the $1 million fundraiser at Trump Tower that he had been expected to attend, Lotter said. The campaign said it was preparing a new, similar aircraft that would be ready soon.

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Associated Press writers Laurie Kellman in Washington and Thomas McElroy in New York contributed to this report.