Footage from the scene shows the plane broken into several pieces with flames coming from its fuselage.
The plane broke into at least three large pieces, footage from the scene shows and people were seen evacuating through a large crack in the aircraft’s side. The cockpit apparently became completely detached from the rest of the frame and was seen lying upside down by the plane’s side.
There were 177 people on board of the ill-fated jet, Turkey’s Minister of Transport Cahit Turhan said. Despite the hair-raising damage, the official added that no-one was killed. However, at least 21 people were injured in the incident and have been hospitalized.
Sabiha Gokcen is Istanbul’s – and, in fact, Turkey’s – second-busiest airport; it handles about 30 million passengers a year. The hub primarily sees domestic traffic, but also serves many international flights.
A similar incident occurred with a Pegasus Airlines plane in January 2018, when it skidded off a runway in the city of Trabzon, coming to a stop on a cliff above the Black Sea. No one was injured in the incident and the plane remained largely intact, though the damage it received turned out to be too severe and the aircraft was ultimately scrapped.