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Iowa governor treated after choking on carrot at ship ceremony

July 5, 2012 |  8:23 am

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad was taken to a Los Angeles area hospital after choking on a carrot at a Fourth of July rededication ceremony for the battleship Iowa in San Pedro
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad was taken to a Los Angeles area hospital after choking on a carrot at a Fourth of July rededication ceremony for the battleship Iowa in San Pedro.

Tim Albrecht, a spokesman for the governor, told The Times that the 65-year-old governor was briefly hospitalized following the incident, which occurred aboard the battleship.

"Out of an abundance of caution, they took him to the hospital to run some tests and make sure he was OK," Albrecht said. "They determined he was fine."

Branstad, who was in town with his wife, Chris, watched a fireworks show after he was released from the hospital, Albrecht said. The governor was scheduled to return to Iowa on Thursday as planned.

Branstad was one of several officials, including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who met veterans and their families aboard the 45,000-ton Iowa for the  ceremony Wednesday.

Nicknamed "the battleship of presidents" because it once carried the likes of Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, the Iowa is one of the largest warships ever built.

Earlier this summer, the 69-year-old ship was tugged from San Francisco to San Pedro, where it will become a permanent floating museum.

The Iowa is set to open to the public Saturday.

ALSO:

A new berth, and rebirth, for the battleship Iowa

Commerce secretary seemed confused and glassy-eyed after crash

San Diego fireworks show exploded in 15 seconds, ruining show [Video]

-- Kate Mather
twitter.com/katemather

Photo: Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad speaks during a Fourth of July ceremony aboard the battleship Iowa. Credit: Richard Vogel / Associated Press

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