1 killed, 157 wounded as plane slides off runway in Istanbul

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One killed and 157 others wounded when a plane slided off the runway at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen International Airport on Wednesday, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced.

Koca said two of the wounded are currently under intensive medical care but none of them is in critical condition.

Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said in a new tweet that

The accident happened at 6:19 p.m. local time (1519 GMT) when a plane of Turkey's Pegasus Airlines with 183 people on board skidded off the runway shortly after landing.

He told reporters earlier at the airport that the plane could not grasp the runway because of bad weather conditions, and fell toward a road from a height of 30-40 meters.

Press reports said there are still people trapped under the wreckage of the plane and the rescue operation is continuing.

Video footage aired by Turkish TV broadcasters showed that the front part of the aircraft was torn apart, and the plane was split into three parts.

Press reports also said four American and four Chinese citizens were among the passengers of the plane coming from Turkey's western city of Izmir.

The NTV broadcaster noted that one Chinese national was wounded and rushed to a nearby hospital.

The airport was reportedly closed to air traffic until further notice. 

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