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Tianjin Airlines jet makes emergency landing after hailstones shatter cockpit windscreens

Tianjin Airlines jet makes emergency landing after hailstones shatter cockpit windscreens

China’s Tianjin Airlines jet was forced to make an emergency landing in Wuhan in Central China yesterday, after being battered by hailstones at more than 32,000 feet.

Huge lumps of ice smashed the plane’s nose cone and shattered two windscreens in the cockpit, according to pictures released by Chinese aviation authority CAAC.

All passengers and crew members on the Tianjin Airlines’ flight were safe, according to the carrier.

The domestic flight was traveling from Tianjin, a major Chinese port city, to Haikou, a popular beach destination, when it encountered the severe weather.

The flight number GS7865 was struck by hailstones about two hours into its four-hour-long journey.

Pictures taken after the emergency landing show the plane’s nose cone had a large dent and was seriously damaged; and the outer layer of two of its windscreens were broken.

According to information on Flightrader24, the plane took off from Tianjin Binhai International Airport at 3:26pm local time yesterday. It was expected to arrive in Haikou Meilan International Airport at 6:25pm.

The aircraft is said to be an Airbus A320-232, which can typically carry 158 passengers.

The aircraft was cruising at 9,800 meters (32,152 feet) above Zhengzhou when the hail occurred, according to local newspaper Dahe.

In an online statement, the airline said the A320 plane was diverted to Wuhan. It made a safe landing and all passengers were unhurt.

The flight resumed its journey in the evening from Wuhan and arrived in Haikou at 1:34am today local time.

It remains unclear if they airline changed the aircraft for the remainder of the journey.

Headquartered in Tianjin Binhai International Airport in north-east China, Tianjin Airlines operates both domestic and international flights. It has more than 160 flight routes to more than 100 cities.