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Pegasus aircraft skids, breaks in pieces

The death toll has risen to three after a plane skidded off the runway Wednesday as it tried to land in bad weather in Istanbul, crashing into a field and breaking into pieces. Dozens were injured in the crash, and passengers had to evacuate through cracks in the smashed plane.

The low-cost Pegasus Airlines plane with 183 passengers and crew on board was arriving at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport from the western Turkish city of Izmir when it had what the Transportation Ministry described as a “rough landing.”

Istanbul Gov. Ali Yerlikaya said the plane landed in bad weather, failed to “hold onto the runway” and skidded some 50-60 meters (yards) before crashing into a ditch from a height of nearly 100 feet.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca reported early Thursday that three people had died and 179 required care at multiple hospitals.

Pegasus issued an earlier statement on its website that noted flight PC2193, on a TC-IZK-registered aircraft, which was flying from Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport, also in Turkey,  “experienced a runway excursion after landing at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport.” 

The airline tweeted a similar statement.

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