Possible lightning strike forces Hollande plane back

A possible lightning strike forced French President Francois Hollande's plane to return to Paris as he headed for Berlin on his first trip abroad as head of state on Tuesday, the defence ministry said.

"The plane could have been hit by lightning. It turned back for safety reasons. Right now, the president has left again" aboard a stand-by plane, a ministry spokesman told AFP.

Hollande was en route for crucial talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel just hours after he was sworn in as president.

The president originally left in a Falcon 7X plane and then took off again in a Falcon 900.

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