Istanbul Plane Crash: Skids Off Runway, Splits Into Three

A plane split into 3 pieces and crashed after skidding of an Sabiha Gökçen Airport runway, injuring 21 people and killing 3.
Brad Bergan

A plane has crashed after skidding off an airport runway, breaking into three pieces, and exploding into flames, according to Turkish media.

Luckily, no one has died, said Transport Minister Cahit Turhan. He added that the crash, which happened in Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen Airport, was caused by a "rough landing."


UPDATE February 6: The crash caused three fatalities and injured 179 passengers — Boeing will investiate 

Following the unfortunate Pegasus Airlines' Boeing 737 in Istanbul on Wednesday, which caused three passengers to lose their lives and 179 others to be injured, Boeing, as well as the Turkish Commission, have stated they will carry out an investigation of the accident.

Another Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737 skidded off the runway at the same airport on January 7th, and a similar skidding incident occurred to yet another Pegasus Boeing 737 in Trabzon in January 2018. 

Istanbul plane crash: injuries and details

However, 21 people are reported injured, and footage from the scene depicts bodies being taken away on stretchers. The plane a Boeing 737-86J was a Pegasus Airlines flight that carried 177 passengers and was arriving from the city of Izmir, according to Turkey's NTV television. The crash caused the fuselage to burst into fire, but emergency responders extinguished the flames.

Footage from the scene of the crash seems to show passengers exiting the aircraft through gaps in the fuselage, ripped open either by the crash or the subsequent inferno.

Pegasus Airlines has confirmed the crash but has as of yet offered no elaboration.

The airport is closed, and inbound flights are being diverted to Istanbul International Airport.

Pegasus Airlines joins an uptick in plane crash frequency

Deadly plane accidents have been on the rise in the last year. On 8 Jan. 2020, a Boeing 737-800 bound for Ukraine crashed immediately after departing Imam Khomeini international airport in Tehran, Iran, due to "technical issues," according to the Iranian semi-state-run media ISNA. All 176 aboard—including the crew—died.

In 2019, two Boeing 737 MAX aircraft crashed, resulting in 319 combined deaths.

The terrifying reality of a plane crash

However difficult to imagine the experience of a plane crash is like, last year footage from inside a Boeing 737 that crashed in a lagoon of the Federated States of Micronesia was released, depicting the ill-fated plane's entire descent to the ground. The crash left one person dead.

The video was recorded by an engineer in the plane's jump seat via mobile phone, and shows the pilot working the cockpit controls before the warning system klaxon activates, signaling proximity to the ground.

When these worst-case-scenarios of flight happen, it's important to remember to send our hearts—with or without fatalities—to the families and friends of the victims.

Update February 06, 11.40 AM: 

An earlier version of this article stated that no one had died, but a few hours later officials announced that 3 people died.

message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron