Plane skids off runway at airport in Istanbul, kills three

Plane skids off runway at airport in Istanbul, kills three

Plane skids off runway at airport in Istanbul, kills three

A passenger plane skidded off the runway at an airport in Istanbul on Feb. 5, killing three people and injuring 180 others, officials said.

Pegasus Airlines flight PC2193 was arriving from Turkey's Aegean province of Izmir at Sabiha Gökçen International Airport when it skidded off the runway while landing, said Turkey's Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Cahit Turhan.

Three people died among the 177 passengers and six crew members, said Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.

Television footage showed the nose of the plane almost completely separated from the rest of the fuselage, which burst into flames following the crash.

"According to the information we obtained, after the hard landing, the plane drifted," said Turhan.

Some 180 people were injured, including 174 passengers and six crew members, said Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya.

According to the airline company, 22 foreign passengers from 12 countries were on board, Yerlikaya added.

After skidding off the runway, the plane drifted around 50 meters (164 feet), Yerlikaya said.

"Then it fell from a height of around 30 meters [98 feet] here, where there is a connection road from the TEM highway to the E-5 highway."

Prosecutors in the capital Ankara launched an investigation into the incident.

The airport, which was closed after the accident, was reopened for flights.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expressed deep sorrow over those who died in a passenger plane crash and avalanche in Turkey.

"I wish Allah's mercy upon our citizens who lost their lives in these incidents and a speedy recovery to the injured," Erdoğan said on Twitter.

"We will further strengthen our preparation for disasters, quickly heal our wounds, embrace and support our citizens, families of our martyrs and veterans affected by disasters and accidents," Erdoğan underlined.