2/11/08 PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (WBZ); A plane carrying hundreds of Marines from Iraq to Maine was forced to make an unscheduled landing in New Hampshire early Monday morning.
A spokesperson at Pease International Airport in Portsmouth told WBZ a World Airways MD-11 with 318 Marines was flying from Iraq to Bangor, when high winds caused problems with the plane's air flaps around 2:30 a.m.
The plane landed at 3 a.m. No one was hurt. The crew was planning to re-fuel in Bangor before heading on to Camp Pendelton in San Diego, California.
Wal-Mart and the Greenland House of Pizza brought in food for the Marines.
Whaleback, a local technology company, is providing free phone service for them so they can call their families. Children have also brought in gift baskets.
"It's comforting to know that back here... people like this go out of their way to do stuff like this because we weren't planning on having food and water," said Cpl. Jesse Aguilar.
The soldiers were touched and very appreciative for the help they have received over the past day. One Marine told WBZ's Karen Anderson "Many of us didn't know where Portsmouth was on the map before this… but we sure do know now."
Lance Cpl. Robert Sullivan's family rushed up from West Roxbury for an unexpected reunion. "It's pretty awesome to see my family in transit home. It feels pretty good."
The Marines are staying in a hotel tonight, and are expected back on a plane very early Tuesday morning.
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