UPDATE | Narrow escape for 177 passengers after plane breaks into two

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A plane carrying 177 passengers skidded off the runway at an Istanbul airport and split into two after landing in rough weather on Wednesday, but officials said no-one had died.

The aircraft had flown into Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport from the Aegean city of Izmir in very wet weather, NTV broadcaster reported, showing images of the badly damaged plane and a fire inside.

The blaze was later put out by firefighters.

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

The plane, operated by Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines, had 177 passengers on board, state broadcaster TRT reported, and was believed to have six crew members.

Transport Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan said there were no deaths, and that the majority of passengers were able to get off the plane themselves.

It is not known how many people have been injured, NTV reported, adding that some passengers are believed to be stuck but that officials are currently helping them.

Turhan said the plane broke after a "strong landing," according to NTV. Prior to the accident, there had been very strong winds and rain.

Several firefighters and health workers were sent to the scene, state news agency Anadolu reported.

Planes were being redirected to Istanbul's main airport from Sabiha Gokcen, NTV said.

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