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Flights Resume at Istanbul Airport after 3 Dead in Plane Crash

Flights Resume at Istanbul Airport after 3 Dead in Plane Crash

Thursday, 6 February, 2020 - 10:30
Soldiers stand guard near the Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737 plane wreckage, after it overran the runway during landing and crashed, at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport, Turkey February 6, 2020. Reuters/Murad Sezer
Asharq Al-Awsat

Flights resumed Thursday at an Istanbul airport after a Pegasus Airline passenger jet skidded off a runway, killing three people and injuring 180 others.


Sabiha Gokcen Airport restarted operations at around 4 am though delays and cancellations continued.


On Wednesday evening, a Boeing 737 operated by the low-cost airline landed from Izmir on Turkey's western coast during strong winds and heavy rain and overshot the runway. It skidded about 50 to 60 meters before it dropped into the ditch from a height of about 30 meters, according to the city's governor, Ali Yerlikaya.


The plane, carrying 177 passengers and six crew members, broke up into three parts upon impact. The plane was 11 years old, according to flight tracking website Flightradar24.


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.


Yerlikaya, speaking early Thursday, said all those injured were stable and four people had significant injuries, but he didn't give details on how severe they were.


The passengers included 22 people from 12 countries.


Pegasus Airlines changed its logo on Twitter to a blackened version in a sign of mourning, and said its "priority is to support the relatives and friends who have lost loved ones.” Its fleet of 83 planes fly to more than 100 destinations.


Police guarded the wreckage Thursday morning.


Another Pegasus Airlines plane skidded off the runway at the same airport in Istanbul on Jan. 7, causing the temporary closure of the airport. There were no injuries.


In January 2018, another Boeing 737 in the Pegasus fleet slid off a runway at Trabzon Airport in northeastern Turkey. The plane came to rest in the dirt above the Black Sea with its nose pointed toward the water. No one was injured.


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