Middle East

Turkey travel chaos as storm hits Istanbul

Turkish Airlines plane about to take off at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul May 15, 2013. (AFP Photo/Ozan Kose)

ISTANBUL: Dozens of flights were delayed or canceled at Istanbul's main Ataturk airport Friday as a ferocious summer storms hit the city for the second day in a row.

Hundreds of passengers were stranded in the domestic terminal of the airport after their flights were canceled while international passengers were suffering delays of several hours, according to the airport.

The first storm front that hit western Turkey Thursday came with massive downpours which caused extensive flooding in some districts of Istanbul.

In the western city of Izmir, a 16-year-old youth was drowned by floodwaters in an horrific incident in which he was filmed waving for help as he was swept away, Turkish media reported.

Meanwhile, a small passenger plane carrying Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu had to make an emergency landing due to Thursday's bad weather.

"We are unable to control the plane right now, we are trying to climb... but we need to turn right urgently," the pilot said in a dramatic exchange with the control tower broadcast by NTV television.

The plane landed safely and the minister made the rest of his journey from Istanbul by road.





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