Lightning hits French president’s plane, none hurt

Published 11:58 am Tuesday, May 15, 2012

PARIS — French officials say that new President Francois Hollande’s plane was hit by lightning en route to Berlin. They say no one was hurt but that the plane returned to Paris as a precaution.

French Defense Ministry spokesman Gerard Gachet said the Falcon 7X aircraft was struck by lightning shortly after take-off Tuesday, and returned to the Villacoublay air base for inspection.

Defense officials say the president and his entourage were transferred to another aircraft, a Falcon 900, and took off shortly thereafter.

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Hollande took office earlier Tuesday. He is due to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss Europe’s financial crisis.