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"Jet with Britain's Blair slides off Miami runway"

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Jet with Britain's Blair slides off Miami runway

MIAMI (Reuters) - A British Airways flight carrying British Prime Minister
Tony Blair overshot a runway at Miami International Airport on Tuesday but
no one was injured, the U.S. Secret Service and an airport official said.

The Boeing 747, flight 209 carrying 343 passengers and crew, was not damaged
when it slid off the runway on arrival from London about 6:15 p.m. (2315
GMT), airport spokesman Marc Henderson said.

"The plane overshot the runway by a little bit. There was no damage to the
plane and no injuries to the passengers," he said.

"This evening a British Airways flight carrying British Prime Minister Tony
Blair overshot the runway at Miami International Airport," U.S. Secret
Service spokeswoman Kim Bruce said. "The plane did not leave the pavement
but it did have to be towed backward to taxi to the gateway."

The Miami Herald reported Blair and his immediate family were flying first
class and were to vacation in the Miami area.

Passengers told local media the jetliner broke a couple of lights on the
runway and that police and emergency vehicles surrounded the plane.

"How would you feel if you saw eight police cars rolling up? You expect the
worst," one passenger told Miami television station WSVN.

"It was really calm," said another. "We're very English."

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