Anita McNaught, Al Jazeera's correspondent in the Turkish capital Ankara, said the Turkish authorities were now reporting two people had died in the crash.

The plane split into three parts after it hit the ground around 3km short of the runway, something that McNaught said is intended by the aircraft manufacturers in these types of crash-landings.

Misjudged approach?

McNaught said there was speculation that the crash was the result of a "misjudged approach", although she stressed it was impossible to establish what caused the accident before examining the in-flight recorders. 

Sharif said the plane did not explode on impact and that there were no signs of fire from the wreckage.

"Bird strike is always a potential problem... when you get birds in the two engines you lose power and all sorts of horrible things can happen"

Chris Yates, aviation expert, Jane's Defence

David Learmount, operations and safety editor of Flight International magazine, said he was not surprised that the number of casualties appeared to be low because their was no fire.

"Modern aeroplanes are just much more survivable than [before]... the question with this one is, this is an extremely modern aeroplane why did it crash at all?" he said.

Chris Yates, an aviation expert with Jane's Defence Weekly magazine, said that because the plane was so close to landing most passengers would have been wearing seat belts which may have helped to save lives.

He said it was possible the plane could have been struck by birds; as was the case in the New York Hudson river crash in January.

"Bird strike is always a potential problem... as we saw with the Hudson crash, bird strike can happen at any point," Yates said. 

"When you get birds in the two engines you lose power and all sorts of horrible things can happen."

Canada geese collided with both engines of the US Airways plane that crash landed on New York's Hudson river after losing power. All passengers survived.

Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught said the pilot - who trained with the Turkish airforce - was praised for his handling of the crash by the transport minister.