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Cicadas ground Biden press plane

Cicadas ground Biden press plane
© Getty Images

The White House press plane traveling from Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C., to Europe was grounded late Tuesday and delayed for several hours due to swarming cicadas.

The flight was originally scheduled to depart at 9 p.m., but was delayed until 2:15 a.m., The New York Times reports. The famously annoying insects, which come out once every 17 years, had apparently filled the airplane's engine, forcing White House aides to look for an alternative method of transporting reporters to Europe to cover President BidenJoe BidenEx-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' News leaders deal with the post-Trump era MORE's first overseas trip.

News of the event was first shared by Associated Press reporter Jonathan Lemire.

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"The White House press charter, flying from Dulles to Europe ahead of President Biden, has been delayed for hours - due to mechanical issues caused by cicadas Yes. Cicadas," Lemire wrote at around 10 p.m. Hours later, Lemire confirmed that a new plane had been secured and the journalists had departed for Europe, "after a delay of nearly 7 hours."

CNN Chief White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins also confirmed Lemire's tweet, writing, "No, @JonLemire isn’t kidding, the White House press charter for the foreign trip is delayed several hours because of cicada-related mechanical issues."

The Times reports that pizza was delivered for the reporters and a hotel room was made available to those who wished to get some sleep while waiting.

— Updated at 9:47 a.m.