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Plane Blown Off Runway With Michigan Basketball Team on Board

Image: Plane Blown Off Runway With Michigan Basketball Team on Board

Emergency personnel examine a charter plane that was carrying members of the University of Michigan men's basketball team that was involved in an accident at Willow Run Airport on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in Ypsilanti, Michigan. (Melanie Maxwell/The Ann Arbor News via AP)

By    |   Thursday, 09 Mar 2017 12:51 PM

A plane was blown off the runway at Michigan's Willow Run Airport on Wednesday with the University of Michigan's basketball team on board, but everyone was safely evacuated.

The team was traveling to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Big Ten Conference men's basketball tournament when the incident happened at the Ypsilanti, Michigan, airport, which is near the university's Ann Arbor campus, the Detroit Free Press reported.

"After attempting to take off in high winds, takeoff was aborted and, after strong braking, the plane slid off the runway," University of Michigan spokesman Tom Wywrot said in a statement to reporters, according to the Free Press.

"The plane sustained extensive damage but everyone on board was safely evacuated and is safe. The team is making alternate travel plans," the statement continued.

The team took off Thursday morning from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and is expected to play its second round game against the University of Illinois at the Verizon Center as scheduled at noon, the Free Press reported.

"We have a few people banged up a little bit, a few cuts, few bruises, but other than that, everybody's healthy," Michigan coach John Beilein said, according to WXYZ-TV. "It's only an airplane. It's only an airplane that was destroyed. No lives were destroyed."

"Our kids will look at life much differently after what we just experienced," he added.

The Detroit News reported that Washtenaw County, where Willow Run Airport is located, was under a high wind advisory at the time of the accident, with wind speeds reaching up to 60 miles per hour.

The Free Press reported that 109 passengers were on board the flight along with seven crew members when it slid off the runway about 3 p.m.

"I just thank the good Lord everybody is OK," ESPN analyst Dan Dakich, father of Michigan senior guard Andrew Dakich, said while covering Wednesday's Big Ten tournament first-round game between Penn State and Nebraska, according to the Detroit News.

"This could have been so much worse, and you know what, when I see my son tomorrow, I don't care what anybody says, I'm gonna give him a big ol' hug and kiss when I get a chance to do that," Dakich added.

Some on the flight shared images on social media.

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A plane was blown off the runway at Michigan s Willow Run Airport on Wednesday with the University of Michigan s basketball team on board, but everyone was safely evacuated.
plane, blown, runway, michigan, basketball
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2017-51-09
Thursday, 09 Mar 2017 12:51 PM
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