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A passenger plane skidded off the runway and broke into pieces in Turkey

A plane flown by the Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines skidded off the runway at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport on Wednesday, crashing into a road and breaking into pieces, Turkish media reported.

The Turkish transportation ministry said there were no fatalities among the 177 people, including six crew members, on board.

At least 120 people were injured and taken to area hospitals, Istanbul Gov. Ali Yerlikaya said, according to The Associated Press. The transportation minister, Mehmet Cahit Turhan, said the accident, which occurred at about 6:30 p.m. local time, was the result of a “rough landing.”

Footage posted online by the Turkish TV station NTV showed heavy damage to the plane’s fuselage, with the front portion of the plane — including the cockpit and several rows of seats — appearing to have broken away from the rest of the plane. A second section, closer to the tail, appeared to have broken off as well. Passenger evacuation slides could be seen.

Other footage showed rescue workers surrounding the plane.

The station reported that the plane caught fire after it skidded but was quickly extinguished.

NTV reported that the plane arrived from the Turkish city of Izmir. The Sabiha Gokcen airport was shut down following the incident, with inbound flights diverting to Istanbul’s main airport instead.

Initial data showed that the plane involved was a Boeing 737-800 operating as Pegasus Airlines Flight 2193. A thunderstorm passing by the airport at the time brought gusty winds to the area, the Flight Safety Foundation said.

On January 7, another Pegasus plane skidded off a runway at the same airport. No one was injured in that incident, the AP reported.

In a statement, the airline confirmed that it was involved in the Wednesday incident:

“The Pegasus Airlines flight PC2193, on a TC-IZK registered aircraft, flying from Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport today (5 February 2020), experienced a runway excursion after landing at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport. There have been no fatalities, and our injured passengers have been taken to hospital.

“We will continue to provide further information with regards to the incident.”

businessinsider.com / balkantimes.press

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