Pilot 'sucked halfway out' of cockpit in midair

The flight passenger had accidentally opened the emergency exit door. Getty Images

The flight passenger had accidentally opened the emergency exit door. Getty Images

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A CO-pilot was "sucked halfway" out of a shattered cockpit window as the plane's captain steered the aircraft to safety. It was scheduled to land in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa about two and a half hours later.

The plane was vibrating strongly and it was impossible to read the instruments, said Liu, who was a former flight instructor in the Chinese air force.

"The sudden loss of pressure and low temperature made me very uncomfortable and it was very hard to make a single move when the aircraft was flying at 900 kilometers (560 miles) an hour and at such a high altitude", Liu said, according to the Morning Post. When he looked over, Liu saw the cockpit's right window was gone. "The next thing I know, my co-pilot had been sucked halfway out of the window", the pilot said.

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The co-pilot was wearing a seatbelt, and he was pulled back in as the pilot worked to control the aircraft. Approximately 27 were treated for minor injuries, but they, like the co-pilot, is expected to be okay thanks to Captain Chuanjian. One other employee was injured in the incident.

But just as flight attendants came down the aisles with breakfast carts, the plane was thrown into a commotion, passengers told local media. Then the oxygen masks dropped. "People were shocked", an unidentified passenger said.

'I'm still nervous. I don't dare to take an aeroplane anymore. "But I'm also happy I had a narrow escape".

Liu Chuanjian braved the intense cold and blasting wind to coax the plane into a safe landing in southwest China. On the Chinese site Sina Weibo, users are writing messages with the hashtag #ChinaHeroPilot. None of the passengers, including the copilot, were severely harmed as a result of the incident. The passenger, Jennifer Riordan, later died.

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This is the second incident in less than a month where a window on an aircraft was smashed open.

It comes two months after a woman died after being partially sucked out of the window of a U.S. passenger plane, whose engine had exploded in mid-air. Mario Ritter was the editor.

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