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Turkey uses two cranes to lift stricken plane from cliff edge

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

The plane, a 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.

A Pegasus Airlines aircraft is pictured after it skidded off the runway at Trabzon airport by the Black Sea in Turkey
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A Pegasus Airlines aircraft skidded off the runway at Trabzon airport by the Black Sea
A Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737 passenger plane is seen struck in mud after skidding off the airstrip, after landing at Trabzon's airport on the Black Sea coast
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Nobody was killed in the incident

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 are using 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.

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.

Workers reportedly posed for a photo opportunity with the trapped aircraft
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Workers reportedly posed for a photo opportunity with the trapped aircraft

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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