An American Airlines plane was forced to make an emergency landing after the cockpit window began to crack.
CBS Chicago reports the incident occurred at around 1:30 p.m. CST, shortly after American Eagle Flight 3408 had departed from Chicago. The airline said the plane, which was bound for Cleveland, had "experienced a mechanical issue with the windscreen" during takeoff and was immediately forced to turn back to O'Hare International Airport, where emergency personnel was waiting.
Sources told TMZ that the "mechanical issue" was seemingly caused by a bird that made contact with the windshield. And judging by the photos, the impact was severe.
TMZ reports the passengers were unaware of the issue until the pilot informed them about the emergency landing. Though no one was hurt during the incident, the passengers had to wait about an hour before they were placed on another flight, which successfully landed in Cleveland—about two hours after the originally scheduled arrival time.
Shattered cockpit windows are reportedly rare, but pose a deadly risk to passengers and crew. Back in 2018, a pilot was partially pulled out of the plan when its windscreen shattered at 30,000 feet.
"There was no warning sign. Suddenly, the windshield just cracked and made a loud bang," co-pilot Liu Chuanjian told the Chengdu Economic Daily, as reported by Reuters. "The next thing I know, my co-pilot had been sucked halfway out of the window."