No fewer than 120 people were injured Wednesday, when a plane skidded off the runway at an Istanbul airport and split into three after landing in rough weather, Istanbul governor Ali Yerlikaya said.

“At the moment, 120 people who were injured have been hospitalised,” said governor Ali Yerlikaya, adding that most of them were “doing well, aside from one or two people.”

The plane had 171 passengers on board and six crew members, the governor said.

Turkish media said there were 12 children among the passengers.

The plane caught fire and split into three after landing in rough weather.

The Boeing 737 operated by Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines had flown into Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport from the Aegean port city of Izmir.

The plane was apparently buffeted by strong winds and heavy rain lashing Turkey’s largest city.

Turkish media said the two pilots, a Turkish national and a South Korean, were seriously hurt.

In January 2018, a Pegasus Boeing 737-800 slid down an embankment at Trabzon airport on the Black Sea and landed just metres 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 passenger 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, according to its website.

Boeing, the manufacturer of the plane, was yet to comment on the incident as of the time of filing this report.


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