A Pegasus Airlines passenger jet flying in from the western city of İzmir veered off the runway after landing at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport Wednesday, Trend reports citing Daily Sabah.
The Boeing 737-800’s fuselage broke in three and caught fire. Firefighters and ambulances were dispatched to the scene.
The plane was carrying 177 passengers and six crew members, according to Transportation Minister Cahit Turhan. He said that there were no fatalities but some passengers were injured. He said the accident was due to a "hard landing."
"Our teams are currently evacuating the passengers. There are no casualties so far, only injured ones," Turhan said.
Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said that 21 evacuees hospitalized for injuries. He later updated the figure for injuries as 52. There were 171 passengers aboard the plane, the governor said.
The airport, which serves much of Istanbul's Asian districts and nearby industrial hub cities as Bursa, Kocaeli and Sakarya, has been temporarily closed to air traffic. Turkey's national flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) announced that it was canceling all flights from and to the airport for the rest of the day.
Low-cost carrier Pegasus, the country's second-biggest airline, uses Sabiha Gokcen as its main hub. The airline said in a statement that the flight number PC2193 with registry number TC-IZK skidded off number without deaths and the injured were being transferred to hospitals.
Prosecutors in capital Ankara launched an investigation into the incident.
Strong southwestern winds and rainfall have been battering the city for much of the day.
On Jan. 7, another Pegasus 737-800 aircraft skidded off the runway in Sabiha Gokcen and stopped on top of a grass area between runways amid adverse weather conditions. No one was injured in that incident.
In January 2018, a Pegasus Boeing 737-800 slid down an embankment at Trabzon Airport on the Black Sea,and landed just meters from the water with its wheels stuck in thick mud.
After four days, the plane was eventually lifted back onto the runway with engineers using cranes. All 162 passengers and six crew were safely evacuated.
Pegasus, which has been flying for 20 years, has a fleet of 83 aircraft, including 47 Boeings and 36 Airbus planes.