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All 179 passengers survive after plane skids off runaway and breaks apart in Turkey


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ISTANBUL — All 179 people on board a passenger plane survived after it skidded off the runway and broke apart while landing at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport, Pegasus Airlines said in a statement.

Some 120 people were injured in Wednesday’s accident that appeared to have taken place in poor weather conditions, and taken to hospital, Istanbul’s governor Ali Yerlikaya told reporters.

The Pegasus Airlines plane was carrying 175 passengers and four crew members, Yerlikaya said. The airline confirmed that one of its planes, flight number PC2193, had skidded off the runway.

Yerlikaya said the plane skidded up to 60 meters (196 feet) after landing, before falling up to 40 meters down a ditch.

Footage from the accident site showed the plane off the runway.

Dozens of first responders were working around the severely damaged plane, that appeared to have split in two.

“This could have been a bigger accident, we are happy it wasn’t bigger,” he said, adding that aside from one or two people, “the rest are only injured lightly.”

Yerlikaya stated that the rescue operation to get the injured out of the plane and to hospitals was still ongoing.

The plane caught fire after landing, and ambulances and rescue teams were at the scene to rescue passengers, CNN Turk reported. The airport has been temporarily closed to air traffic.

According to Flightradar24.com the plane landed at 6.19 p.m. local time (10.19 a.m. ET).

Weather radar showed a line of showers and thunderstorms moving through the area at the time of the incident.

Prosecutors in the Turkish capital Ankara have launched an investigation into the incident.

“Our TC-IZK registered aircraft from Izmir Adnan Menderes (airport) to Sabiha Gokcen flight number PC2193 today… skidded off the runway after landing,” Pegasus Airlines said in a statement.

“As of now, there is no loss of life, our injured passengers are dispatched to hospitals. Information on developments will continue to be provided.”

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