Plane Skids Off Runway in Istanbul, Breaking Apart and Injuring Dozens

Plane Skids Off Runway in Istanbul, Breaking Apart and Injuring Dozens


A passenger plane skidded off the runway at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport on Wednesday, breaking into three pieces and injuring dozens of people, the authorities said.

But despite the dramatic way that the plane was wrecked, no one died in the crash, the carrier, Pegasus Airlines, said in a statement.

Many people suffered injuries, however. Gov. Ali Yerlikaya of Istanbul said on Twitter that 52 people had been taken to hospitals, and crews worked into the evening to evacuate people from the plane, which had 171 passengers and six crew members on board, according to Turkish news reports.

It was raining heavily at the time of the episode, and experts suggested that the weather was a factor in the accident. In audio released by the broadcaster NTV, airport officials can be heard warning pilots about strong winds.

“According to information we obtained, a hard landing happened, and as it couldn’t slow down, it left the runway,” the transportation minister, Mehmet Cahit Turhan, told CNN Turk.

“A significant number of passengers left the plane on their own, and the evacuation work for the ones inside was still ongoing,” he said, adding that there were two children on board. Turkish news reports said the two pilots were seriously injured.

A spokeswoman for the airport said that it had closed and that flights were diverted to other airports. Pegasus Airlines said the plane was flying from Izmir, a city in western Turkey, and described the accident as “a runway excursion after landing.”

Turkish news media showed video of the plane having broken into three pieces, with a clear break near the front of the plane — the nose appeared to be detached — and a large crack in its midsection. The video showed people climbing out of the rear opening and onto one of the plane’s wings.

Other videos appeared to show flames on part of the aircraft, and rescue workers trying to get into the plane.

In 2018, a Pegasus Airlines passenger plane in the northeast coastal city of Trabzon, Turkey made a heart-stopping skid off the runway, ending up halfway down a steep slope at a perilous angle, just feet from the Black Sea. No passengers or crew members were seriously injured in that episode, officials said.



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