One person was killed and 157 others were injured after a plane carrying 177 people skidded off the runway at an Istanbul's Sabiha Gokchen airport, which caught fire and split into three after landing in rough weather on Wednesday. Turkey Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that none of the other wounded were in critical condition.
Earlier, Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said that the plane was carrying 177 passengers and six crew from the western province of Izmir. He said the wounded were being treated at 18 hospitals in the area.
Turkey's Transport Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan said flights waiting to land in Sabiha Gokcen had been diverted to Istanbul Airport. He said the plane broke after a 'strong landing'. Prior to the accident, there had been very strong winds and rain.
Pegasus Airlines in a statement that the plane had gone off the runway. A spokesperson for the company did not provide any other details. The television footage showed the plane landing and continuing at a high speed off the runway. The footage also showed plane's fuselage had broken off. Live images broadcast on Turkish television showed several people climbing through a large crack in the plane and escaping on one of the wings at the rear of the aircraft.
As the sun had set, the footage showed further 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.
This incident comes nearly a month after another plane belonging to Pegasus airline had skidded off the runway early in January.
An Iranian jetliner skidded off a snowy runaway in the western city of Kermanshah due to low visibility on February 1, Iran's state TV said.
The report said that there were no injuries and that the plane overshot the landing strip by only a few meters. The Iran Air flight coming from the capital, Tehran, had not experienced any technical problems, it added. The state-run IRNA said one of the plane's wheels slipped six meters due to heavy snowfall when it was in taxiway after landing.
(With agency inputs)