A Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737-800 skidded off of the runway at Turkey’s Trabzon Airport after arriving from Ankara. It came to a rest on a nearby slope, feet from plunging into the Black Sea. Nobody was hurt or killed onboard. Special forces units were sent to the scene for security measures.
Reports say that the plane was stopped only when its wheels got stuck in the mud on the cliff.
Trabzon Governor Yücel Yavuz says that the cause of the incident is unknown. Trabzon was closed until 8:00 local time on January 14.
“All the passengers were evacuated. Their relatives came and took the passengers. Vehicles were provided to those who did not have cars. After the airplane landed, before it maneuvered, it slipped and then veered off the runway. There are no injuries. There are some passengers who have gone to hospitals for precautionary purposes,” he said.
“We, as Pegasus Airlines, are sorry to confirm that PC8622 Boeing 737-800 type TC-CPF Ankara-Trabzon plane skidded off the runway as it was landing yesterday evening at Trabzon Airport. Some 162 passengers, two pilots and four members of the cabin crew on board were evacuated. There are no casualties or injuries,” Pegasus said in a statement.
“We landed on the track and then taxied a little on the runway. But then there was a huge noise, we started shaking. We got pushed to the side; the plane’s nose was facing down, and the back was facing up. The passengers panicked a lot,” Fatma Gördü, a passenger onboard the flight, told Turkish state-run media outlet Anadolu. “There was the smell of fuel everywhere. We thought a fire would erupt; we were afraid of that. There were pregnant women and children. We did not sleep. I felt the plane crash. People were saying things when they panicked, but no one understood anything. We were told to leave from the back door, but everyone was busy trying to get past each other.”
“We tilted to the side, the front was down while the plane’s rear was up. There was panic; people shouting, screaming,” Gördü continued.
“We were saved by a miracle. The plane could’ve burned, exploded or crashed into the sea. But thank God, we are safe. I feel like I’m going crazy every time I remember the moment,” Yüksel Gördü, another passenger, said.
The involved runway was closed for about four hours. The next flight to take off from it was bound for Istanbul.
The incident is under investigation. Officials said that the cause of the skid will be revealed after technical inspections are completed.
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