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Customs and Border Protection plane makes emergency landing at GFK

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection plane made an emergency landing at the Grand Forks International Airport this morning, airport manager Steve Johnson said.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection plane made an emergency landing at the Grand Forks International Airport this morning, airport manager Steve Johnson said.

The airport received a call that the aircraft, a Cessna Citation jet, had smoke in its cabin, said Jerry Aase, the airport's lead operations specialist.

The plane landed safely about 9 a.m. and no one on board needed medical attention, Aase said.

Aase said airport firefighters used thermal imaging to investigate the smoke. "There was no fire that we could find," he said.

Aase said he suspects the reason for the smoke was electrical.

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"There's any number of things that could short out and cause smoke," he said.

The Grand Forks Fire Department used air-monitoring equipment to make sure the plane was safe for mechanics to inspect, Aase said.

Jim Knoell, director of air operations for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's North Dakota branch, said the Cessna is a patrol plane stationed at the Grand Forks airport.

Knoell said for security reasons he could not release the number of people on board, their names or the purpose of the flight. Johnson said it was possibly a training or operations flight.

Knoell said the plane is now undergoing routine maintenance.

"It was a non-event as far as we're concerned," he said.

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