A plane landing on Saturday night in northern Turkey came off the runway and slid along a muddy cliff, stopping a few feet from the sea, according to spectacular images published by local media.
The 162 passengers and six crew members of the Pegasus Airlines aircraft, arriving from Ankara to land at Trebizond, were evacuated from the plane, and no one was injured, the company said.
CNN Turkey’s images showed the aircraft in a delicate position, the wheels mired in the buttress of a cliff descending into the Black Sea. Other images from the Dogan agency showed smoke coming out of the aircraft.
The cause of the accident is unknown for now, said the region’s governor’s office. The Trebizond prosecutor said yesterday that an investigation had been opened.
One of the passengers, Fatma Gordu, reported the panic of the passengers. “We started to lean to the side, then to the front, it was panic, people started screaming and screaming,” she said. According to this passenger, there were odors of fuel, which caused fear of a fire. “That’s why we were so scared,” she added.
“When they said that everyone had to leave the plane by the back exit, everyone tried to get past the other, it was a horrible situation,” added Fatma Gordu. According to another passenger, Yuksel Gordu, their rescue was “a miracle”: “We could have burned, it could have exploded, we could have fallen into the sea”.
The airport, which had been closed, reopened yesterday morning, and operations to remove the aircraft off the cliff is ongoing.