Plane carrying 171 passengers skids off runway, splits into two

A passenger plane on Wednesday skidded off the runway at an Istanbul airport, injuring 52 people, officials said.

The Pegasus Airlines plane was arriving from Turkey’s Aegean province of Izmir at Sabiha Gokcen International Airport when it skidded off the runway during landing, Turkey’s Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Cahit Turhan said.

Television footage showed the plane separated from its fuselage after it burst into flames following the crash. Several firefighters and paramedics were dispatched to the area.

There are no casualties among 177 people — including two children and six crew members, Turhan said.

“Our teams are currently evacuating the passengers,” he added.

“According to the information we obtained, the plane skidded off the runway and drifted to the land as a result of the hard landing,” said Turhan.

Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said 52 injured passengers were transferred to the nearest hospitals.

Prosecutors in capital Ankara launched an investigation into the incident. The airport has been temporarily closed to air traffic.

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