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Plane skids off runway in Istanbul, breaks into three; dozens injured but no lives lost

This picture taken on February 05, 2020, shows a Pegasus airlines Boeing 737 plane after it skidded off the runway at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport. (AFP)
This picture taken on February 05, 2020, shows a Pegasus airlines Boeing 737 plane after it skidded off the runway at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport. (AFP)
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06 Feb 2020 02:02:57 GMT9
06 Feb 2020 02:02:57 GMT9

Istanbul: A plane carrying 177 people skidded off the runway at an Istanbul airport, caught fire and split into three after landing in rough weather on Wednesday.

Officials said that no-one had lost their lives in the spectacular accident, but dozens of people were injured.

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 of the aircraft.

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, NTV broadcaster reported.

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

Fifty-two people were injured and taken to hospital, Istanbul governor Ali Yerlikaya said in a statement on Twitter, but there were no deaths.

"Efforts to evacuate those affected continue," he added.

Turkish media said the two pilots, a Turkish national and a South Korean, were seriously hurt.

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

The plane had 171 passengers on board and six crew members, the governor said.

Turkish media said there were 12 children among the passengers.

AFP

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