/Three dead as plane breaks up after skidding off runway in Istanbul

Three dead as plane breaks up after skidding off runway in Istanbul

Three people have died and 179 have been injured after a Pegasus Airlines plane flying into Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen airport skidded off the end of a wet runway and broke into three pieces.

Fahrettin Koca, the health minister, told reporters that three people had died in hospital after the accident on Wednesday night but that none of the other wounded were in critical condition.

Koca said there were 183 passengers and crew on board the plane which was arriving from the western Turkish province of İzmir.

The governor of Istanbul, Ali Yerlikaya, said the wounded were being treated at 18 hospitals in the area.

“The plane could not hold on the runway due to poor weather conditions and skidded for around 50-60 metres,” Yerlikaya told reporters at the airport.

The plane, a Boeing 737-86J, split into three pieces after what Yerlikaya said was a drop of around 30 to 40 metres at the end of a runway made wet by heavy rain. Footage showed the plane landing and continuing at a high speed off the runway.

Footage on Turkish media showed the plane’s fuselage, as well as a section of it near the tail, had broken off. Passengers were being led out as the plane lay on a patch of grass next to the runway. Dozens of emergency response personnel were taking passengers out of the plane and carrying them away on stretchers.

Health teams and fire brigade crews are seen near debris of a passenger plane in Istanbul.



Health teams and fire brigade crews are seen near debris of a passenger plane in Istanbul. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Earlier footage showed part of the exterior of the plane had caught fire, which the Anadolu news agency said was put out by firefighters.

Turkish Airlines said it cancelled all its flights in and out of Sabiha Gökçen on Wednesday.

Original Source