NEW YORK (Reuters) – A plane carrying U.S. Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence skidded off the runway after landing in the rain at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport on Thursday, halting flights for at least an hour, officials said.
No one was injured in the incident which occurred less than two weeks before the U.S. presidential election, crucial campaign days for Pence and running mate Donald Trump.
Pence pledged to hit the campaign trail again on Friday.
“So thankful everyone on our plane is safe,” the Indiana governor said on Twitter after the incident. “Grateful for our first responders & the concern & prayers of so many.”
At about 8 p.m. local time (midnight GMT), New York City emergency management officials said on Twitter that the airport was closed, and urged passengers to check with their airlines for further information.
An hour later, the agency said that the airport had re-opened, but only for limited air traffic, urging passengers to expect delays.
Trump and Pence have slipped in the polls in recent weeks, in part due to negative public reaction to the release of a decade-old video in which Trump made lewd comments about women and said he could grab them by their genitals because he was a celebrity.
Since then, numerous women have come forward to say that they were groped by Trump, claims that he has denied.
On Thursday, Pence had been scheduled to attend a fundraiser at Trump Tower in Manhattan, but canceled it after his plane slid off the runway, MSNBC reported.
Live television footage showed Pence standing in the rain near the plane among emergency vehicles, talking to police and other officials.
Trump called Pence from his motorcade while en route to a rally in Geneva, Ohio.
“He’s glad that everyone on board is safe,” Trump spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said.
There were about 30 people onboard the plane, including Pence’s wife, Karen, and daughter Charlotte, MSNBC said.
The plane was coming from Fort Dodge, Iowa, where Pence had participated in a campaign event.
The takeoff from Iowa was delayed for about two hours because of bad weather in New York. Pence had earlier posted on Twitter a picture of himself playing football in the bright sun on grass near his plane in Iowa, citing the delay in leaving for New York.
In 2015 a Delta Air Lines Inc jet landing during a snowstorm at LaGuardia Airport slid off the runway and struck a fence before coming to rest on a snow-covered embankment just feet from the frigid waters of Flushing Bay.
(Reporting by Eric Beech and Mohammad Zargham in Washington; Additional reporting by Ginger Gibson, Rory Carroll and Curtis Skinner; Writing by Sharon Bernstein and Eric Beech; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)