A Sichuan Airlines plane had to make an emergency landing after one of the cockpit windows fell off. The incident happened when the plane was flying from Chongqing to Lhasa during the early hours of Monday.
The cockpit window fell out mid-flight and the plane was forced to make an emergency landing at a nearby airport. The plane landed at the airport 20 minutes after the incident. Pictures show the right side of the window completely gone and some damage to the inside.
The incident left a few people injured, including the co-pilot who suffered a cut to his face. A flight attendant also suffered a minor injury when the plane lost altitude. After landing, several passengers were transported to nearby hospitals.
The passengers were transported to hospitals for medical tests but doctors found no injuries. One passenger told the China Youth Daily that he was sleeping when the incident happened. He said he was thrown up in the air and fell during the incident. He added that all of the oxygen masks dropped out.
The airline later released a statement saying that the passengers had resumed their trip. The pilots had a difficult time after the window fell out, with one of them telling the Red Star News that the window fell around 150 km (93 miles) from the city of Chengdu. The pilot explained that the windshield cracked suddenly and that he noticed the co-pilot’s body outside the window. The co-pilot had his seat belt on, preventing him from being sucked out of the plane.
The pilot said the equipment inside the cabin began having issues after the window fell out. He explained that the plane was shaking and that he could not hear well. The plane went from 32,000 feet to 24,000 feet, according to flying data. The passenger who spoke to China Youth Daily said that he was sitting in the middle of the plane. He says he felt the cold air and saw how the cockpit door opened.
The plane landed at the airport after 20 minutes but the pilot says he had to manually do everything because the automatic features were not functioning. The Sichuan Airlines flight had 119 passengers on board.