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Three dead and dozens injured as plane splits in three during rough landing at Istanbul airport

Dozens injured after aircraft skids off end of runway

Simon Calder,Cathy Adams
Wednesday 05 February 2020 17:33 GMT
Plane splits in three during rough landing at Istanbul airport

Three people have died after a plane broke into three pieces during a rough landing at a Turkish airport.

The Pegasus Airlines aircraft skidded off the runway at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen airport on landing, crashing into a road. Footage showed serious damage to the plane’s fuselage, which appears to be cracked in three places.

Turkey’s health minister, Fahrettin Koca, said three person had died in the incident, while 179 of the 183 passengers and crew on board were being treated in hospitals across the region.

The jet, flight number PC2193, was arriving from the city of Izmir, on Turkey’s Aegean Coast. The country’s transport ministry said the accident was the result of a “rough landing”.

Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen airport has been closed and dozens of arrivals and departures have been diverted to the capital, Ankara, or cancelled.

Pegasus, the second-biggest airline in Turkey, has its main hub at Sabiha Gokcen airport on the Asian side of Istanbul, the Turkish equivalent of Gatwick.

Unusually for a low-cost carrier, it has a mixed fleet of Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 series aircraft. It also offers connecting flights through its hub, with a wide range of destinations available from Stansted via Istanbul.

Earlier this month, an arriving Boeing 737 belonging to Pegasus skidded off the runway at Sabiha Gokcen in heavy rain, with passengers evacuated via emergency slides. The incident closed the airport for several hours, causing dozens of cancellations and diversions.

The accident has echoes of a crash in Girona in September 1999, when a Britannia Airways Boeing 757 flying in from Cardiff landed very heavily, left the runway and broke into three pieces.

All 236 people on board survived the accident, but one passenger died some days later from undiagnosed internal injuries sustained in the crash landing.

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