Mindanao Times

Three dead, scores hurt, in Turkey plane accident

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THREE people have died and 179 were injured when a plane skidded off the runway at an Istanbul airport, caught fire and split into three after landing in rough weather.

Live images broadcast on Turkish television showed several people climbing through a large crack in the severed aircraft and escaping onto one of the wings at the rear.

The Boeing 737 operated by Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines had flown into Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport from the Aegean port city of Izmir on Wednesday, NTV television reported.

The plane was apparently buffeted by strong winds and heavy rain lashing Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city.

Three Turks were killed and 179 injured, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told reporters.

“Some passengers evacuated the plane by themselves but others are stuck inside and our rescuers are working to free them,” Transport Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan said on CNN-Turk television.

The plane was carrying 177 passengers and six crew members, state news agency Anadolu said, revising the previous total given by Turkish authoritie­s. Turkish media reports said there were 12 children on board.

Istanbul governor Ali Yerlikaya said the plane

“slid some 60 metres (200 feet)” after skidding off the runway, and then “fell about 30-40 metres” down a bank.

The accident, which he attributed to bad weather, “could have had more serious consequenc­es”, he said.

NTV showed images of the badly damaged plane and flames inside, which were later put out by firefighte­rs.

After darkness fell, television footage showed dozens of rescue workers in high-visibility jackets surroundin­g the plane with flashlight­s.

Some sprayed water jets onto the severed body of the aircraft, while others could be seen climbing up onto the plane to comb through the cabin.

 ?? Yasin AKGUL / AFP ?? RESCUERS work to extract passengers from the crash of a Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737 airplane, after it skidded off the runway upon landing at Sabiha Gokcen airport in Istanbul on February 5, 2020. The plane carrying 171 passengers from the Aegean port city of Izmir split into three after landing in rough weather. Officials said no-one had lost their lives in the accident, but dozens of people were injured.
Yasin AKGUL / AFP RESCUERS work to extract passengers from the crash of a Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737 airplane, after it skidded off the runway upon landing at Sabiha Gokcen airport in Istanbul on February 5, 2020. The plane carrying 171 passengers from the Aegean port city of Izmir split into three after landing in rough weather. Officials said no-one had lost their lives in the accident, but dozens of people were injured.

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