ISTANBUL, TURKEY – A Boeing 737 from Pegasus Airlines has crashed at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW) this afternoon, just moments after the aircraft touched down on the runway. Flight PC2193 then ended next to the runway. Due to the high impact, the passenger aircraft broke into 3 pieces, Turkish media reports.
The Boeing 737-86J (registration TC-IZK) from Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines departed from Izmir at 4:13 PM (local time) carrying 177 passengers, according to Flightradar24. The aircraft is said to have been pushed off at the end of the runway at Sabiha Gökçen International Airport and stopped just before a busy road, shortly after it had landed at 5:19 PM. As a result of the impact, the passenger aircraft broke into 3 pieces.
Images from Turkish media show that some passengers are being evacuated from the aircraft. There are no messages about victims yet.
Allegedly there was a very strong wind during the landing and it was raining heavily. However, it’s still unclear whether this caused the accident.
The governor of Istanbul Ali Yerlikaya, says that the aircraft first slid 60 meters on the runway, before plunging “30 to 40 meters” deep from a slope.
The front part of the aircraft was completely detached from the rest of the fuselage. A fracture can also be seen next to the tail. A part of the occupants was evacuated from there, according to images on social media.
Some of the passengers were able to leave the aircraft on their own, others were trapped and had to be rescued by rescue workers. “The consequences of this accident could have been much worse,” Yerlikaya emphasizes.
Turkish authorities have started an investigation and work to establish how another aircraft skidded off this busy runway at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport
Updates – Wednesday, February 5:
☆ According to Turkish authorities, there are no fatalities.
☆ 52 people injured, confirmed by Ali Yerlikaya, Governor of Istanbul.
☆ Sabiha Gökçen Airport suspends all flight operations. Flights are diverted to Istanbul Airport (IST) in the European part of the city in western Istanbul.
☆ The Turkish channel NTV reports that the 2 pilots are in critical condition.
☆ The Boeing 737 was carrying 177 passengers and 6 crew members.
☆ One person died, total injured raises to 157, Turkish Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca said.
☆ New footage on YouTube show how the the nose gear probably collapsed during landing, then the B737 slides over the runway for a few hundred meters after it landed and disappears, because it plunged deep into a slope:
Updates – Thursday, February 6:
☆ Death toll rises to 3 – total injured people on board raises to 177, the Turkish government said on Thursday.
☆ The B737 skidded off the runway in bad weather, while it was suffering from a strong tailwind. As a result, the aircraft was unable to stop in time on the runway and plunged from a 40-meter slope and broke into pieces.
☆ 180 people have been counted in the accident so far, of which 3 people were killed and 177 injured. They were transferred to 18 hospitals in the region, says Turkish health minister, Fahrettin Koca. There are 22 foreigners from 13 different countries among the victims.
☆ It is not clear whether the 2 pilots are one of the people killed in the crash. The Turkish channel NTV reported on Wednesday evening that the two pilots were in critical condition.
This is the third Pegasus Airlines crash within little more than 2 years.
Two years ago, on January 13, 2018 a Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737 also skidded off the runway at Trabzon Airport in Turkey.
There were no fatalities in both crashes.
Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport
Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport is one of two international airports serving Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city. The airport is located in the Asian part of the city, about 20 miles (32 km) southeast of the city center. The airport serves as the hub for Pegasus Airlines and as a secondary base for Turkish Airlines.
The airport is named after Sabiha Gökçen, adoptive daughter of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Istanbul Airport – located about 39 miles (63 km) away on the Istanbul’s European part – is larger, but Sabiha Gökçen is still one of the largest airports in the country.
Jerry Taha is Chief Editor, Author and main contributor of flyhigh.news. He has written for avgeekery.com and luchtvaartnieuws.nl
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