Blair's plane overshoots Miami runway - East Valley Tribune: Nation / World

Blair's plane overshoots Miami runway

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Posted: Tuesday, December 26, 2006 6:26 pm | Updated: 3:11 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

MIAMI - A commercial jet carrying British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his family slightly overshot a runway at the Miami International Airport on Tuesday, but the plane was not damaged and no injuries were reported, officials said.

British Airways flight 209 from London ran over a couple airfield lights after landing around 6:15 p.m., but did not leave the pavement and returned to the gate under its own power, airport spokesman Marc Henderson said.

Blair was among the 343 passengers on the plane, but no additional information about his trip was available, U.S. Secret Service spokeswoman Kim Bruce said.

Blair receives Secret Service protection whenever he lands in the U.S., Bruce said.

A Downing Street official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to talk about Blair's travel plans, said the prime minister and his family were not hurt in the mishap.

He did not say where the Blair family was going, but Blair and his family have taken vacation in Bermuda before.

The pilot stopped the plane at the end of the runway because he could not see the lights to the taxiway, British Airways spokesman John Lampl said.

"Apparently they're doing some resurfacing work and relighting, so the lighting was poor. Just to err on the side of caution, the captain decided to stop at the end of the runway and called the tower," Lampl said.

The plane was then pushed into position to return to the gate under its own power, and was on schedule for its return flight to London with a new crew Tuesday night, he said.

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