On Saturday, the 13th of January, a commercial plane, carrying 162 passengers and 6 crew members, lost control once it had landed and skidded off a runway. The incident took place in Trabzon, a northern province in Turkey, which is known to be a melting pot of cultures and religions. The plane, once it had careened off the runway, slid down a muddy hillside before it jerked to a stop, with the plane’s nose just metres away from the Black Sea. If the plane had just slid slightly further down it would have gone plunging into the sea and the outcome may have been very different.
The plane had taken off from the country’s capital, Ankara, earlier that day and everything had gone smoothly until the skidding accident, which came as a surprise.
168 passengers, including 6 crew members and 2 pilots, were on the Pegasus Boeing 737- 800 when the incident happened. There was a lot of panic among the passengers, as the plane slid down the hill and jolted to a stop, with the plane in the precarious position so close to the Black Sea and with the plane tilted over slightly on one side. Videos from cell phones of the incident show babies crying and fearful passengers.
The crew members acted professionally, as they executed an evacuation procedure. Fortunately every passenger was evacuated safely with not even any minor injuries to speak of, which Pegasus Airlines confirmed on Sunday, after the official report was made. The passengers walked up the muddy hillside to safety unaided by a third party. Some passengers described it as a “miracle”.
Following the incident, flights were suspended at Trabzon Airport, with flights only resuming again at 8.00 AM on Sunday morning. The incident caused quite a stir in Trabzon and an investigation was launched in an effort to determine why the plane skidded off the runway. So far, no conclusion has been reached but possible suggestions are that the plane hit an animal or the icy runway caused the plane to skid.