Hundreds of Trump supporters were stranded for hours in freezing temperatures Tuesday night as they waited for shuttle buses following a massive campaign rally in Omaha, authorities said.
About 30 people waiting in the cold required medical treatment and seven were transported to local hospitals for a variety of ailments, the Omaha Police Department told Inside Edition Digital Wednesday.
Trump, who spoke for about an hour, left Nebraska on Air Force One at approximately 9 p.m. Some attendees waited past midnight for shuttle buses to transport them from the rally site to their cars, which were parked more than three miles away, according to reports.
Trump campaign officials said larger-than-expected crowds slowed the return of buses to the event site after the rally ended.
Law enforcement officials estimated the rally crowd at about 10,000 people. Trump, addressing the crowd, claimed 29,000 people were present.
An officer told CNN Tuesday night that more buses were needed to pick up those left in the cold.
Kris Beckenbach was a volunteer at the rally. She told the Omaha Herald-Leader she finally made it to her car at 12:15 a.m. Wednesday.
“There was no direction given. I expected at the end of the rally somebody will say, ‘Go this way and there will be buses waiting.'”
Buses arrived, she said, but “they didn’t come back for an hour and a half.”
“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,” a Trump campaign official told The Hill.
State Democrats wasted no time in criticizing the president and his election advisers.
“Supporters of the President were brought in, but buses weren’t able to get back to transport people out. It’s freezing and snowy in Omaha tonight. What people will do for this con man, what people have sacrificed, is so sad to me. He truly does not care about you,” tweeted state Sen. Megan Hunt.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month but now says she is virus-free, posted video of last night’s crowded rally, where tightly packed supporters wore hats and coats. Many had no masks.
“Leaving thousands of Nebraskans stranded in the cold captures the entire Trump administration,” said Jane Kleeb, chairwoman of Nebraska’s Democratic Party, the Omaha newspaper reported.
“I hope those responsible for the poor planning to feed Trump’s ego will be held accountable and that fellow Nebraskans turn out to vote to end this chaos,” she said.
The last of those huddled in 31-degree temperatures boarded buses shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday, the paper reported.