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Taiwan president safe after smoke pours from plane
November 2, 2009 / 3:42 AM / in 8 years

Taiwan president safe after smoke pours from plane

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Smoke poured from an aircraft carrying Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou after a domestic flight, but the president was taken off the plane and no one was hurt, military officials said on Monday.

<p>Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou smiles during an interview with Reuters at the Presidential Office in Taipei October 19, 2009. REUTERS/Nicky Loh</p>

Smoke began billowing from the Fokker 50 prop-jet aircraft late on Sunday as its brakes overheated after a short flight from the capital Taipei to the central city of Taichung.

Ma was escorted off the plane in good time, his spokesman said, but he called for a full safety check on the aircraft, which had logged 7,200 flight hours and passed an inspection in July.

“The president was calm all along,” spokesman Tony Wang said. “He hopes the air force will check the equipment not just for him personally, but for overall safety.”

Military officials responsible for the plane said they suspected a simple mechanical failure and would ensure it was repaired.

Reporting by Ralph Jennings, editing by Ron Popeski

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