World News

Plane Skids Off Runway in Turkey, Teetering on Water’s Edge

Posted January 14, 2018 12:40 p.m. EST

A passenger plane trying to land in Turkey this weekend made a heart-stopping skid off a runway, ending up halfway down a steep slope at a perilous angle, feet from the Black Sea.

No passengers or crew members on the Pegasus Airlines flight were seriously injured, Turkish officials reported Sunday.

Yuksel Gordu, a passenger, told the official news agency Anadolu that no words could describe the fear of those on board, according to The Associated Press.

“It’s a miracle we escaped,” he said. “We could have burned, exploded, flown into the sea.”

“Thank God for this,” he added. “I feel like I’m going crazy when I think about it.”

The episode unfolded around 11:25 Saturday night at an airport in the northeast coastal city of Trabzon. Pictures shared on social media showed the plane’s nose close to the water’s edge.

Pegasus Airlines, a low-cost Turkish carrier, said in a statement that the Boeing 737-800 aircraft, flying to Trabzon from Ankara, the capital, “had a runway excursion incident” as it tried to land.

Fatma Gordu, another passenger, told the news agency Dogan that there had been a loud sound after touching down, the AP reported.

“We swerved all of a sudden,” she said. “The front of the plane crashed and the back was in the air. Everyone panicked.”

The 162 passengers, two pilots and four members of the cabin crew were not hurt and disembarked safely, the airline said.

The plane overran Runway 11 at the airport, according to local news reports. It was raining at the time, and the runway was wet during the landing, news outlets reported. The aircraft apparently had trouble slowing down on the runway.

One engine flew into the sea, according to nighttime images from the site.

Video footage also emerged on Twitter of crew members and panicked passengers being evacuated.

Gov. Yucel Yavuz of Trabzon told local news media that the passengers were safe and that investigators were trying to find out why the plane had left the runway. The prosecutor’s office has also begun an investigation.

Trabzon Airport was closed overnight but flights resumed Sunday.