A Pegasus Airlines plane, Boeing 737, with flight number PC2193 was arriving from Turkey’s Aegean province of Izmir at Sabiha Gokcen International Airport when it skidded off the runway while landing, Turkey’s Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Cahit Turhan told reporters.
The plane crashed into a field and broke into three pieces.
At least three people died and 179 others were injured among the 177 passengers and six crew members, the country’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca reported early on Thursday.
“According to the information we obtained, after the hard landing, the plane drifted,” said Turhan.
After skidding off the runway, the plane drifted around 50 meters (164 feet), said Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya quoted by the agency.
“Then it fell from a height of around 30 meters [98 feet] here, where there is a connection road from the TEM highway to the E-5 highway,” Ali added.
The Boeing 737 operated by Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines had come from the Aegean port city of Izmir, Turkish news agencies reported.
Pegasus is a privately-owned, low-cost carrier based in Istanbul that flies 97 routes, mostly within Turkey and to destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia.
The accident comes a month after a Pegasus plane with 164 people on board skidded off the runway at the same airport on January 7. There no injuries on that occasion.