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.
Three people were killed and 179 were hurt, according to the Turkish health minister. There were 183 people on board, including six crew members.
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,” according to The Associated Press
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.
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:
“Pegasus Airlines is deeply saddened to confirm that following the accident on 5 February 2020 involving Pegasus Airlines flight PC 2193, on a TC-IZK registered Pegasus Airlines aircraft, flying from Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport to Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport, there have now been three fatalities, as confirmed by official sources.
Pegasus Airlines shares in the profound sorrow of all the people affected by this tragic accident. Above all, we would like to express our profound sympathy and heartfelt condolences to those families and friends who have lost loved ones and extend our thoughts to them at this difficult time. Our injured passengers continue to be treated in hospital and we wish them all a swift recovery.
“We are deploying every resource to support those affected by this accident. Pegasus Airlines’ priority is to support the relatives and friends who have lost loved ones, and we will be doing everything we can to help them in the aftermath of this tragic event, as well as doing our utmost to provide our full support in meeting the needs in hospital of our injured passengers.”