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15.51 18 Jan 2018


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Engineers in Turkey have lifted a plane from the shore of the Black Sea, where it is lodged in a dangerous position after falling off the runway.

The Pegasus airlines flight from Ankara skidded off the runway on Saturday, landing normally but then continuing down a slope towards the sea.

It has remained in the precarious position, metres from the water of the Black Sea, stuck in thick mud with its nose and wheels buried in a gravity-defying position.

People work on a recovery operation around a Boeing 737-800 of Turkey's Pegasus Airlines in Trabzon, Turkey | Image: Depo Photos/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

Witnesses said it was a miracle there had been no casualties in the incident, after which all 162 passengers and crew were evacuated safely.

Engineers began efforts to free the plane by tying cables around the wings and tail in a cradle fashion, and used two cranes to winch the plane from the shore.

As the rescue operation got underway workers posed for photographs with the aircraft suspended over the coast.

People from a nearby hill watch as cranes lift a Boeing 737-800 of Turkey's Pegasus Airlines in Trabzon, Turkey | Image: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP/Press Association Images

Authorities sent the cranes from Ankara and Samsun and closed the airport, in Trabzon in the north east of Turkey, to all air traffic, diverting flights to the Ordu-Giresun airport nearby.

The flight will be emptied of fuel when returned to the runway, then taken to a hangar where all passengers' baggage will be removed.

The plane's pilot told investigators that the aircraft had experienced a sudden power surge from one of the engines, which caused it to suddenly veer off to one side during landing.

The final cause of the issue is yet to be confirmed, but photographs showed that one of the engines had fallen into the sea.


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