A Pegasus flight from Sharjah skidded off the runway in Istanbul on Tuesday morning (January 7, 2019), closing the Turkish capital’s second airport, the Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW). The Boeing 737-800 registered as TC-CCK, operating as flight PC747 departed Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) at 5.15am local time and arrived in Istanbul on scheduled time.
An official from Pegasus confirmed that there had been a minor incident but that the situation was under control and no injuries had been reported thus far. There were 164 passengers onboard the flight. Upon landing at its destination, the plane skidded off the runway and ended its course in the grass alongside the runway. Emergency vehicles arrived at the scene almost immediately and occupants were evacuated using emergency slides.
Image Credits: gulfnews
All departures from the airport have been suspended until the incident can be cleared. A statement from the general manager of Turkish Airlines, Bilal Eksi, said that Turkish Airlines flights to and from Sabiha Gokcen airport would be cancelled until 15:00 local time (12:00 GMT).
“A plane came off the runway and was embedded in the earth; work on rescuing the plane is continuing. The strong winds are hindering the work.” an airport official told.
Image Credits: Metro
Strong winds and heavy rains have prevailed in the city since Sunday (January 5, 2019). From the pictures and available reports, it looks that the aircraft slid off the left of the runway and then stuck in the soft ground. Photos of the incident showed the left engine resting on the ground, and may be damaged. Additionally, the nose wheel looks well sunk into the ground.
Image Credits: thesun.co.uk
A similar incident was reported in January of 2018, when a Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737 carrying 162 passengers skidded off the runway at Trabzon, Turkey. Even in that incident, there were no fatalities (fortunately). However, just by looking at the pictures, one can see how much worse that accident could had been.
The Pegasus incident at Trabzon, Turkey in January 2018
While technical details as to exactly what went astray today are still under investigation, we are closely following the incident. Stay tuned for more!