Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s running mate, was unharmed when the plane he was riding in slid off the runway while landing on a rain-soaked Thursday evening at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport, briefly prompting its closure.
Turbulent weather was credited for a bumpy approach that caused the Boeing 737 Eastern Airlines charter flight’s rough landing. The Associated Press reported that the pilot slammed on the brakes, and passenger accounts relayed that the smell of burning rubber was ominous.
All passengers and crew safely departed the jet via the back of the plane, but the situation could have been much worse. Two Port Authority officials told ABC News that only the airport’s arresting bed of crushed concrete kept the airliner from ending up on an adjacent highway. The National Traffic Safety Board said its first-response investigation team would be on-site Friday morning.
Live video after the landing showed Pence speaking to first responders after the plane, carrying 37 passengers, arrived from Fort Dodge, Iowa, where he had participated in a campaign event. Bad weather in New York had delayed the aircraft’s takeoff in Iowa.
The governor confirmed via social media that he was unharmed.
“So thankful everyone on our plane is safe. Grateful for our first responders & the concern & prayers of so many. Back on the trail tomorrow!,” he tweeted.
Pence told reporters on the plane, “We can see mud on the front windows.”
Trump remained on the road in Ohio, eventually acknowledging in Geneva during his final event of the day that Pence was in a “big accident with the plane.”
“What a great decision it was to get Mike Pence. What a great guy he is. What a great job he is doing,” Trump said.
“Mr. Trump did reach out to Gov. Pence and is very glad everyone on board plane is safe,” a spokesman told ABC News before Trump took the stage in Ohio.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton also acknowledged the incident.
Pence was slated to attend a $1 million fundraising event in New York City on Thursday evening but called in instead, spokesman Marc Potter told the Associated Press.
Pence’s wife, Karen, and daughter Charlotte were also on the plane, according to NBC. A contingent of journalists covering the vice presidential candidate shared additional footage of the scene on social media.