Plane dangles off cliff after skidding off runway in Turkey

A commercial airplane skidded off a runway in northern Turkey on Sunday, dangling precariously off a muddy cliff with its nose only a few feet from the Black Sea.

Some of the 168 people on board the Boeing 737-800 described the harrowing ordeal as a "miracle" that everyone was evacuated safely from the plane.

Images show the aircraft on its belly and perched at an acute angle just above the water, after it skidded off a runway at Trabzon Airport.

If it had slid any further along the slope, the plane would have likely plunged into the sea in the Turkish province of Trabzon.

Pegasus Airlines said no one was injured during the incident, despite the panic among the 162 passengers on board Flight PC8622.

The six-member crew, including two pilots, was also evacuated.

Flights were suspended at Trabzon Airport for several hours before resuming again Sunday.

Passenger Yuksel Gordu told Turkey's official Anadolu news agency that words weren't enough to describe the fear on the aircraft.

"It's a miracle we escaped. We could have burned, exploded, flown into the sea," Gordu said. "Thank God for this. I feel like I'm going crazy when I think about it."

Another passenger, Fatma Gordu, told private Dogan news agency that there was a loud sound after landing.

"We swerved all of a sudden," she said. "The front of the plane crashed and the back was in the air. Everyone panicked."

Trabzon Gov. Yucel Yavuz said investigators were trying to determine why the plane had left the runway. The prosecutor's office launched an investigation.

The flight originated in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

Operations crews used a crane to try and pull the plane back up the slope and onto the runways.

The pilots of the plane reportedly told investigators that the aircraft's right engine experienced a sudden surge of speed that forced it to swerve to the left and off the runway. 

The Dogan news agency said on Monday the pilots told investigators that the plane landed normally but that the engine's sudden increase in speed caused them to lose control.