Watch: Planes Take Direct Hit as Tornado Rips Through Major Turkish Airport

Jan 27, 2019

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Parts of southern Europe and the Mediterranean were affected by two separate storm systems late last week. The storm systems brought with them heavy rain, strong winds and even a few tornadoes. And one tornado took direct aim at one of the largest airports in Turkey, Antalya Airport (AYT). Multiple videos taken at the airport show the tornado touching down, tracking across the busy airfield. Various sources are reporting that the tornado damaged aircraft, ground equipment and injured 12 passengers waiting to board an aircraft via airstairs.

The following video was uploaded to YouTube by flying high 737. The video was taken from inside the passenger terminal at Antalya Airport. A thin funnel cloud can be seen extending down from ominous looking clouds. Eventually, the funnel cloud touches down, whipping up debris and moving parked aircraft as it tracks across the airport.

Antalya Airport, located in southwestern Turkey, is by no means a small airport, serving more than 25 million passengers annually. The tornado touched down at the airport in the morning hours on Saturday. Numerous departing flights were canceled while others were delayed more than 10 hours in the wake of the storm. Some arriving flights were delayed more than an hour following instructions to remain in a holding pattern near the airport as the storm passed through the region.

A SunExpress flight was required to circle the airport as storms took direct aim at the Turkish city. (Image via Flightradar24)
A SunExpress flight was required to circle the airport as storms took direct aim at the Turkish city. (Image via Flightradar24)

While the majority of the airport’s operations were merely delayed, various sources are reporting that the tornado resulted in a dozen minor injuries. Twelve passengers waiting to board their flight were injured when the tornado took direct aim at their bus as it sat on the ramp. Additionally, two narrow-body passenger jets were damaged by the storm, according to AirLive.net. An Airbus A321 belonging to Onur Air and a Boeing 737 MAX 8 operating for Corendon Airlines were damaged as the tornado tore through the airport.

Tornado hit Antalya airport, SW Turkey today – watch it here as it hits and airliner and a bus, overturning the latter. Report via @GazSimsek

Posted by Severe Weather Europe on Saturday, January 26, 2019

Tornadic storms in the region are rare and typically do not cause damage. However, local sources have confirmed that hundreds of structures were damaged and two were killed as a result of Saturday’s severe weather. As of midday Sunday, the airport is still experiencing delays, though the delays are not said to be related to Saturday’s storm.

Featured image by Mevlüt Dalaman / severe-weather.eu

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