mcloudy.png
Wednesday July 8th, 2020 10:30AM

Passengers say crumpled Istanbul flight landed very fast

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ISTANBUL (AP) — Passengers who lived through the crash landing in Istanbul that killed three people and left a Turkish plane crumpled into pieces say the plane's descent felt unusually fast.

Engin Demir, who was injured in the crash, told NTV television that he really noticed the speed as the Boeing 737 operated by low-cost Pegasus Airline landed at Sabiha Gokcen Airport on Wednesday evening.

Coming in amid strong winds and heavy rain, the plane overshot the runway. It skidded about 50 to 60 meters (165 to 200 feet) before it dropped into a 30-meter (98-foot) high ditch, according to the city's governor, Ali Yerlikaya. The 11-year-old plane broke into three pieces, forcing passengers to squeeze out through cracks and climb out onto its damageded wings. In addition to the deaths, 180 people were injured, authorities said.

"With the speed, I think it was not able to stop. It all happened in 2-3 seconds," Demir said from his hospital bed in Istanbul.

Demir said he was trapped for a while by plane debris falling from the luggage compartment.

"There were screams and shouts. I tried to calm people around me. Help soon arrived," he said.

Another survivor, Alper Kulu, told the DHA news agency the flight was "abnormal from the start to the finish."

"It was a very turbulent flight. The plane touched down with difficulty. It was very speedy compared to other flights," he said, adding that “a 'Welcome to Istanbul' announcement was made after the wheels touched down."

He said the plane suddenly swayed left and right, then dipped to the left to fall into the steep ditch. He said the impact flipped the seats in front of him completely around. He said he pressed to get out since he feared the plane could explode.

“There was panic and shouting. Everyone was calling for help. I got out of the plane on my own, with a broken arm, I (climbed) 30-40 meters. I heard announcements that the plane could explode,” he said.

The plane, carrying 177 passengers and six crew members from the western Turkish city of Izmir, included people from 12 countries. Yerlikaya, speaking early Thursday, said all the injured were stable but four had significant injuries. He did not elaborate. The three dead were Turkish citizens.

Pegasus Airlines CEO Mehmet T. Nane told a press conference in Istanbul that the black boxes were retrieved and were being deciphered.

“It’s not easy to speak here when there are deaths, damages, injuries,” Nane said, choking up. He said Pegasus will work to heal the wounds caused by the deadly landing.

"There are tons of questions, how did it happen, why did it happen?” he said, adding that information would be shared by authorities and the company with the public when available.

Nane said the 180 injured were sent to 23 hospitals and 56 of them had already been treated and released.

Pegasus Airlines changed its logo on Twitter to a blackened version in a sign of mourning and said its "priority is to support the relatives and friends who have lost loved ones.”

Nane said the company's pilots were “encouraged” and trained to avoid risks, do stable approaches, bypass landings if necessary and divert to alternative airports. He said the airline safety's scores were above European Union standards.

The company is majority-owned by Turkish billionaire Sevket Sabanci and his family, with 34.5% of shares floating in stock exchange Borsa Istanbul. Its fleet of 83 planes flies to more than 100 destinations.

Work continued at the crash site Thursday and crews were taking apart the interior as police guarded the wreckage. Flights resumed, although some delays and cancellations continued.

Despite Nane's reassurances, Pegasus has had several recent instances of overshooting runways.

Another Pegasus Airlines plane skidded off the runway at the same Istanbul airport on Jan. 7, causing the temporary closure of the airport. There were no injuries.

In January 2018, another Boeing 737 in the Pegasus fleet slid off a runway at Trabzon Airport in northeastern Turkey. The plane came to rest in the dirt above the Black Sea with its nose pointed toward the water. No one was injured.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Business
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Passengers say crumpled Istanbul flight landed very fast
Passengers who lived through the crash landing in Istanbul that killed three people and left a Turkish airliner crumpled into pieces say the plane's descent felt unusually fast
6:47AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Lawyers to ICC: Free Ivory Coast's Gbagbo unconditionally
Lawyers for former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo are urging International Criminal Court judges Thursday to set him free without conditions
6:27AM ( 26 minutes ago )
10 Things to Know for Today
Get ready for Thursday, Feb. 6 with a few things to know about the day’s news from The Associated Press
6:23AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Not guilty: Senate acquits Trump of impeachment charges
The Senate has acquitted President Donald Trump of impeachment charges, ending the third presidential trial in American history with votes that split the country and tested civic norms. The proceedings are feeding the tumultuous 2020 run for the White House
5:39AM ( 1 hour ago )
'A floating prison': Cruise of Asia ends in virus quarantine
David Abel’s 50th wedding anniversary luxury cruise began with him eating his fill and enjoying the sights of East Asia
4:49AM ( 2 hours ago )
International Space Station crew lands safely in Kazakhstan
An international space station crew including NASA astronaut Christina Koch, who has spent more time in space on a single mission than any other woman, has landed safely in Kazakhstan
4:39AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Impeachment takeaways: Trump's iron grip, McConnell delivers
The Republican-controlled Senate has acquitted President Donald Trump on two impeachment charges
12:26AM ( 6 hours ago )
Biden reaches for 'Comeback Kid' mantle in New Hampshire
Former Vice President Joe Biden is acknowledging his campaign “took a gut punch” in Iowa but says he isn't going anywhere as he tries to position himself in New Hampshire as the new "Comeback Kid
12:11AM ( 6 hours ago )
Buttigieg clings to narrow lead as Iowa results trickle in
Pete Buttigieg is clinging to a slight lead over Bernie Sanders in a new batch of votes released by the Iowa Democratic Party
11:21PM ( 7 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Women vying for Oscars salute their progress, snubs aside
The mood at Diane von Furstenberg’s lunch for female Oscar contenders could have been downbeat, given the shutout of women directors for Sunday’s awards
5:12AM ( 1 hour ago )
Scotland's finance chief quits over messages to teenager
Scotland’s finance minister has resigned after he reportedly sent hundreds of messages to a 16-year-old boy on social media
5:08AM ( 1 hour ago )
Huawei, guarding US business, says Verizon violated patents
Chinese tech giant Huawei has accused U.S. phone carrier Verizon of violating its patents in a lawsuit, broadening efforts to defend its business in the United States amid government sanctions
5:01AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Lawyers to ICC: Free Ivory Coast's Gbagbo unconditionally
Lawyers for former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo are urging International Criminal Court judges Thursday to set him free without conditions
6:27AM ( 26 minutes ago )
10 Things to Know for Today
Get ready for Thursday, Feb. 6 with a few things to know about the day’s news from The Associated Press
6:23AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Impeachment loses its constitutional gravity in Trump case
President Donald Trump's acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial leaves his political fate in the hands of voters and his place in history to be judged in the passage of time
6:18AM ( 35 minutes ago )
Israeli troops hurt, 3 Palestinians killed in new violence
An eruption of Israeli-Palestinian violence has killed three Palestinians and wounded a dozen Israeli soldiers
6:12AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Tokyo tries to quell fear of Olympic-Paralympic cancellation
Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizers again try to allay fears that the 2020 Games could be postponed or canceled because of the fast-spreading virus from China
6:12AM ( 42 minutes ago )