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FAA investigates Michigan basketball team charter flight that slid off runway

WASHINGTON, March 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said on Wednesday it is investigating a charter flight carrying the University of Michigan men's basketball team that slid off the runway at a suburban Detroit airport, sustaining extensive damage.

The FAA said the charter flight, an MD-83 passenger jet, was bound for Washington-Dulles International Airport, near the location of the Big Ten men's college basketball tournament.

The plane aborted takeoff in high winds at 2:55 p.m. EST, and after heavy braking, it slid off the runway, the school said in a statement. The plane was evacuated safely with no serious injuries, but some suffered bumps and bruises.

Tom Wywrot, a university spokesman, said the plane had 109 passengers and seven crew members aboard. The team was still working to make alternative arrangements as of early Wednesday evening.

Michigan is scheduled to play Illinois on Thursday afternoon in Washington, D.C.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Leslie Adler, G Crosse)

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