Plane catches fire after veering off runway at Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen Airport

Plane catches fire after veering off runway at Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen Airport

Pegasus Airlines passenger jet flying in from the western city of İzmir veered off the runway after landing at Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen Airport on Wednesday afternoon, Daily Saban reports.

The Boeing 737-800's fuselage broke in three and caught fire. Firefighters and ambulances were dispatched to the scene immediately after the accident.

The plane was carrying 171 passengers and six crew members, according to Transportation Minister Cahit Turhan. He said there were no fatalities but some passengers were wounded. He said the accident was due to a "hard landing."

"Our teams are currently evacuating the passengers. There are no casualties so far, only injuries," Turhan said.

Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said 21 evacuees were hospitalized for injuries. He later updated that as 52. There were 171 passengers aboard the plane, the governor said.

The airport, which serves much of Istanbul's Asian districts and the nearby industrial hub cities like Bursa, Kocaeli and Sakarya, has been temporarily closed to air traffic.

Turkey's flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) announced that it was canceling all flights to and from the airport for the rest of the day.

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