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179 injured and 3 dead after Pegasus Airlines flight skidded off runway

179 injured and 3 dead after Pegasus Airlines flight skidded off runway
06.02.2020
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A passenger plane landing at an airport in Istanbul has skidded off the runway and broken into three parts, killing three people and injuring 179 others, officials say.

The Pegasus Airlines jet was carrying 177 passengers and six crew members from Izmir province in the west when it crashed at Sabiha Gokcen airport.

The Boeing 737 was trying to land in heavy tailwinds and rain.

The airport was closed and flights diverted after the accident.

The majority of people on board were Turkish, but local media quoted the airline’s records as saying there were 22 foreign passengers from 12 other countries. A small number of children are believed to have been on board.

Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said: “Unfortunately, the Pegasus Airlines plane couldn’t hold on the runway due to poor weather conditions and skidded for around 50-60m [164-196ft].”

He said the plane then fell between 30 and 40 metres off the end of the runway.

The airport has since reopened, while prosecutors have opened an investigation into the crash.

Video footage showed passengers climbing through one of the large cracks to escape via one of the wings, and dozens of rescuers working around the jet.

Other footage on social media showed a blaze inside the aircraft, which was later put out by firefighters.

Transport Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan said authorities had not yet been able to speak to the pilots, a Turkish national and a South Korean, who were believed to have been injured in the accident.

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