A Sichuan Airlines co-pilot was sucked halfway out of an aircraft's cockpit when its windshield shattered during a flight, Chinese state media has reported.
Captain Liu Chuanjian and his crew were praised for making an emergency landing after the incident, which occurred Monday morning at 30,000 feet on an Airbus A319 flight from the southern city of Chongqing to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.
"The situation was very critical. The windshield was blown off at a 10,000-meter-high altitude. The aircraft was in a state of low pressure and a temperature was minus 30 to minus 40 degree Celsius," Jiang Wenxue, a Civil Aviation Administration (CAA) official, was quoted as saying by state news agency Xinhua.
The co-pilot almost got sucked out of the cockpit but kept calm, according to Chinese state television station CCTV.
"There was no sign before the windshield burst. Just a huge noise," Capt. Liu said, according to state news agency China News Service.
"When I looked at the other side, the co-pilot was partially blown out of the aircraft. Luckily, he had the belt buckled up. Many devices were malfunctioned and the plane was jolting strongly. It was very difficult to control," he added.
The co-pilot suffered scratches and a sprained wrist, the CAA said, adding that a flight attendant was also injured. None of the plane's 119 passengers were injured and the aircraft safely landed at Chengdu Shuangliu Airport in southern China.
The incident came nearly a month after the death of a woman who was partially sucked out of a window that broke during a Southwest Airlines flight over the United States.
Southwest passenger Jennifer Riordan died as a result of injuries she suffered in that April 17 flight. Something in the engine broke apart midair, and debris broke a window, passengers said, pulling part of Riordan's body out as passengers tried to pull her back in.