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Plane skids off runway in Istanbul, killing one and injuring 157

One person died and 157 were injured when a plane carrying 177 people skidded off the runway at an Istanbul airport, caught fire and split into three after landing in rough weather on Wednesday.

Live images broadcast on Turkish television showed several people climbing through a large crack in the severed aircraft and escaping onto one of the wings at the rear.

Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said earlier that the plane was carrying 177 passengers and six crew from the western province of Izmir. He said the wounded were being treated at 18 hospitals in the area.

“The plane could not hold on the runway due to poor weather conditions and skidded for around 50-60 meters,” Yerlikaya told reporters at the airport.

The plane, a Boeing 737-86J (BA.N), split into three pieces after what Yerlikaya said was a drop of around 30 to 40 meters at the end of the wet runway. Footage showed the plane landing and continuing at a high speed off the runway.

Transport Minister Cahit Turhan said flights waiting to land in Sabiha Gokcen had been diverted to Istanbul Airport.

Footage on Turkish media showed the plane’s fuselage, as well as a section of it near the tail, had broken off. Passengers were being led out as the plane lay on a patch of grass next to the runway. Dozens of emergency response personnel were taking passengers out of the plane and carrying them away on stretchers.

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