A Sichuan Airlines Airbus A319-100, registration B-6419 performing flight 3U-8633 from Chongqing to Lhasa (China), was enroute at 9800 meters (approx FL321) about 60nm west of Chengdu over mountaineous terrain, when the right hand windshield burst completely, the glass hitting and injuring the first officer, the passenger oxygen masks were automatically released, the flight control unit (autopilot panel) was damaged. The captain initiated an emergency descent to 7100 meters (approx FL235 - minimum safe altitude due to mountains), turned the aircraft around and diverted to Chengdu descending the aircraft to 3000 meters as soon as clear of the mountains. The aircraft landed on Chengdu's runway 02R about 35 minutes after leaving 9800 meters. The first officer and a cabin crew member received injuries.
The windscreen cracks developing (Video: Pilotslife737) China's CAAC reported the first officer received a waist sprain and scratches when the right hand windshield shattered and separated. A member of the cabin crew received injuries, too. The occurrence is being investigated. The airline reported a mechanical failure. The captain remained unharmed, the first officer received skin abrasions, a member of the cabin crew a waist injury.