Hundreds of Trump supporters wait in cold for buses after Nebraska rally
A rally in support of President Donald Trump left supporters stuck outside at a Nebraska airport with several requiring medical attention.
President Donald Trump left a rally at Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Neb. while his supporters remained stuck outside in the freezing cold on Tuesday night.
According to the Omaha World-Herald, hundreds of people were transported by buses organized by the Trump campaign to the rally, and the trip back did not occur as seamlessly. The shuttles were to take guests back to their cars, parked approximately 3 1/3 miles from the event site. Temperatures dipped to 31 degrees and the large crowds were forced to remain gathered in the dark, cold space until the buses could reach them.
Images uploaded to Twitter displayed the patient supporters waiting for the charter buses to beat traffic. Aaron Sanderford, a political reporter for the World Herald, shared the photos saying “Traffic along the small roadway to the private side of Eppley Airfield is backed up and buses were having trouble getting through.”
The World-Herald reported paramedics transported six people from the scene to local hospitals “due to a variety of medical conditions,” according to Tim Conahan the police chief for the Omaha Airport Authority. The outlet present on the scene witnessed two people receive help from Omaha police, an elderly woman and a boy– both seeking help to warm up.
Trump campaign officials cited a larger-than-expected turnout as the cause of the delay. Arrow Stage Lines was the bus company booked to provide the back-and-forth transportation. Alex Busskohl, Great Plains regional director for the transit company, informed the World-Herald that each bus held at least 54 guests and operated from 10 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. the next day.
“Unfortunately, our buses can’t just float back to where they need to be,” Busskohl said to the Omaha World-Herald.
Jason Heard attended the rally and told the news outlet at 4:45 p.m. when he arrived, his bus driver informed him that over 8,000 people had been bused to the site at the time. During his hour-long speech, POTUS claimed 29,000 people were in attendance. Conahan said just over 21,000 people were screened into the event according to the World-Herald.
Heard walked back to his vehicle after estimating a long-wait. The World-Herald reported it took him about an hour-and-a-half to make the four mile trek. A cousin, who attended with him waited for a bus and arrived to the car 30-minutes later.
“To me, it was more like people just leaving a concert and heading back to their cars,” Heard said to the news outlet. “Anybody that was shocked by what happened at the end of the night wasn’t really paying attention.”
Samantha Zager, President Trump’s deputy national press secretary, issued a statement about the chaotic event.
“President Trump loves his supporters and was thrilled to visit Omaha last night. Despite the cold, tens of thousands of people showed up for his rally. Because of the sheer size of the crowd, we deployed 40 shuttle buses — double the normal allotment — but local road closures and resulting congestion caused delays. At the guest departure location, we had tents, heaters, generators, hot cocoa, and handwarmers available for guests. We always strive to provide the best guest experience at our events and we care about their safety.”
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