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Chinese airliner makes emergency landing after cockpit window falls out: report

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Beijing, May 14 (PTI) A Chinese plane with 128 people on board was forced to divert to another airport for an emergency landing today after a cockpit window broke, injuring a co-pilot and a crew member, officials said.

The Flight 3U8633, operated by Sichuan Airlines, was en route from southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality to Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region. It was forced to divert to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), part of the cockpit window broke as the Airbus A319 flew over Chengdu, the report said.

Other media reports said part of the cockpit window fell out in mid-flight.

The crew enacted emergency code 7700 and landed in Chengdu. All passengers are safe, although the co-pilot sustained injuries on the face and waist, and another crew member was slightly hurt during the emergency landing, according to the CAAC.

Sichuan Airlines confirmed the diversion, and said that an investigation is under way. The plane landed in Chengdu at 7:46 am today.

There were 119 passengers and nine crew members on board, according to the airline, which has arranged another flight to take the passengers to Lhasa.

Video footage shot by passengers showed baggage falling from overhead lockers during the emergency landing and oxygen masks dropping for use.

An unnamed woman passenger told the Beijing Youth Daily the accident happened about one hour after the plane took off.

Some passengers cried out and others vomited and felt dizziness, she was quoted as saying.

“(We) don’t know what happened to the pilot. We owe him for saving everybody and were worried about him,” she said.

An aviation blogger said online that the pilot would have had to land the Airbus A319 in difficult conditions, with low temperatures in the cockpit, strong winds and some equipment not functioning properly, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

Last month, an Air India flight from Amristar to New Delhi with over 240 passengers experienced turbulence leaving at least three people with minor injuries and causing a window panel inside the aircraft to break away.

In a separate incident in the US same month, a mother was killed after a jet engine of Southwest airlines exploded during a flight. A few weeks later, a cracked window prompted another emergency landing.

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