Three passengers were confirmed dead after the crash. About 179 injured passengers were evacuated through cracks in the smashed plane.
The 11-year-old plane carrying 177 passengers and six crew members was arriving at Istanbul’s airport from Turkish city of Izmir when it experienced “rough landing.”
Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said: “Unfortunately, the Pegasus Airlines plane couldn’t hold on the runway due to poor weather conditions and skidded for around 50-60m”.
After the incident, the airport was temporarily shut down while flights were being diverted to Istanbul’s main airport. The airport has since been reopened.
Authorities said that most of the passengers were Turkish, while 22 foreign nationals from 12 other countries were also onboard.
A survivor Dogus Bilgic told Turkish television channel NTV that he fled the smashed plane through the gap near his seat.
“We traveled (on the runway) for some 20 or 30 seconds, then all of a sudden we flew off the runway,”
“It happened in seconds.”
“I was seated in 25C. I believe the plane broke apart at row 26”
“The front (of the plane) was in a terrible state. I saw, after I was on the ground, that it had completely broken apart,”
The accident comes a month after a Pegasus plane skidded off the runway at the same airport. All 164 people on board escaped unhurt in that incident on Jan. 7.