A plane carrying 177 people slipped on the runway of an Istanbul airport, caught fire and split into three after landing on Wednesday in bad weather. Officials said no one was killed in the accident, but dozens were injured. Live images broadcast on Turkish television showed several people climbing through a large crack in the severed aircraft and escaping on one of the wings at the rear of the aircraft. The Boeing 737 operated by Turkish low-cost airline Pegasus Airlines landed at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport from the Aegean port city of Izmir, NTV television reported. The plane was apparently rocked by strong winds and heavy rain that hit the largest city in Turkey. Fifty-two people were injured and taken to hospital, Governor of Istanbul Ali Yerlikaya said in a statement on Twitter, but there have been no deaths. “Efforts to evacuate those affected are continuing,” he added. Turkish media reported that the two pilots, a Turkish national and a South Korean, were seriously injured. Private TV station NTV showed images of the severely damaged aircraft and the flames inside, which were then extinguished by firefighters. The plane had 171 passengers on board and six crew members, said the governor. Turkish media reported that there were 12 children among the passengers. In January 2018, a Pegasus Boeing 737-800 slipped on an embankment at Trabzon Airport on the Black Sea, and landed a few meters from the water with its wheels stuck in thick mud.
After four days, the plane was finally brought back to the runway with engineers using cranes. The 162 passengers and six crew members were safely evacuated. Pegasus, which has flown for 20 years, has a fleet of 83 planes, including 47 Boeings and 36 Airbus planes, according to its website.