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Plane breaks apart after skidding off runway in Turkey

Data pix.

One person died after a passenger plane skidded off the runway and broke apart while landing at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport, Turkey's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Wedneday.

Some 157 people were injured the accident, which appeared to have taken place in poor weather conditions. They have been taken to different hospitals, Koca told a news conference.

He added that two people are currently in an intensive care unit.

The Pegasus Airlines plane was carrying 183 people in total, including 175 adult passengers, two young children, and six crew members, Istanbul's governor Ali Yerlikaya said. The airline has confirmed that one of its planes, flight number PC2193, had skidded off the runway.

Yerlikaya said the plane skidded up to 60 meters (196 feet) after landing, before falling up to 40 meters down a ditch.

Footage from the accident site showed the plane off the runway.

Dozens of first responders were working around the severely damaged plane, that appeared to have split in two.

"This could have been a bigger accident, we are happy it wasn't bigger," he said, adding that aside from one or two people, "the rest are only injured lightly."

Around 22 of the injured went to Kartal Lutfi Kirdar Training and Research Hospital. Many of them are suffering from injuries to their heads and legs, the hospital's chief surgeon Recep Demirhan said Wednesday.

He added that 14 of those passengers are suffering "middle range" injuries and eight are lightly injured.

"There are broken bones in different places in their bodies," he said.

He added that among their patients, two "kids are injured and three foreigners are injured," without stating their nationalities.

The plane caught fire after landing, and ambulances and rescue teams were at the scene to rescue passengers, CNN Turk reported. The airport has been temporarily closed to air traffic.

According to the plane landed at 6:19 p.m. local time (10:19 a.m. ET).

Weather radar showed a line of showers and thunderstorms moving through the area at the time of the incident.

Prosecutors in the Turkish capital Ankara have launched an investigation into the incident.

"There has been no loss of life, the injured passengers are being evacuated off the plane to hospitals," Turkish Transportation Minister Cahit Turan said Wednesday.

The plane caught fire after landing, and ambulances and rescue teams were at the scene to rescue passengers, CNN Turk reported.

"The plane went off the runway shortly after landing," Istanbul's governor Ali Yerlikaya said.

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