At least three people died and 179 were injured after a plane skidded off a runway at Istanbul airport, according to the reports. It caught fire and split into three just after landing in bad weather. Live images broadcasted from Turkish television showed that several people climbing through a large crack that and escaping from one of its wings at the rear. According to the reports, the Boeing 737 was operated by Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines that had flown into Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport from the Aegean airport of Izmir on February 5.
While landing, the plane overshot and skidded off the runway after which the cockpit got detached and the plane erupted in flames. The plane repeatedly faced troubles by strong winds and heavy rain lashing Istanbul, according to reports.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told media that three Turks have been killed and 179 were injured. Transport Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan reportedly said that some passengers were able to evacuate themselves from the plane but some are still stuck inside and the rescue team has been sent to help them.
#Turkey: The moment when #PegasusAirlines plane caught fire before skidding off the runway in #Istanbul. At least 3 people have died so far.#pegasus #pegasushavayolları #istanbulairport pic.twitter.com/G54bQkCKaz— Annu Kaushik (@AnnuKaushik253) February 6, 2020
The aircraft was carrying 177 passengers and six crew members, according to a state-based news agency revising the previous reports given by Turkish authorities. Turkish media reported that there were 12 children on board. Istanbul governor Ali Yerlikaya confirmed that the plane slid about 60 metres (200 feet) after skidding off the runway. He said the cause of the accident was due to bad weather and it could have had more serious consequences. The TV images show that the plane was badly damaged and there were flames inside it which were later extinguished by firefighters.