Video shows a jetliner teetering above the Black Sea after it slid off the runway
A Turkish passenger plane veered off the runway and dived nose-down into the side of a cliff, where it landed on its belly, a few perilous yards from the Black Sea.
The Pegasus Airlines aircraft landed Saturday evening at Trabzon Airport on northeastern Turkey’s Black Sea coast. Authorities have not said what caused the plane to skid off the runway after it landed. In a brief statement, the budget airline simply described what happened as a “runway excursion incident.”
The plane’s 162 passengers, two pilots and four cabin-crew members all got out of the aircraft safely, Pegasus Airlines said. The flight was en route from Ankara, the Turkish capital.
The plane skidded to the left after it landed on the single runway, which runs parallel to the coast just yards from the water. Images show the Boeing 737-800 stuck at a downward angle on the muddy cliff that adjoins the Black Sea. Other images taken by local media show smoke escaping the aircraft, according to Agence France-Presse.
Trabzon Gov. Yucel Yavuz said officials are investigating what caused the accident, which shut down the airport until Sunday morning, the Daily Sabah newspaper reported.
Passenger Fatma Gordu told the paper that she heard a loud noise after the plane landed and that the aircraft started “shaking.” She said the plane swung to its side and its front tilted downward as passengers screamed.
Gordu said the passengers waited about 20 minutes for help and were later told to leave the plane through the back exit.
“The plane could have caught fire or fell into the sea. I thank God it didn’t. I feel like going crazy whenever I think about those moments,” another passenger, Yuksel Gordu, told the Daily Sabah.