Air China Flight CA106 from Hong Kong to Dalian in China lost height a half-hour in the scheduled 5:55 pm trip.
The authorities have determined that an Air China flight sudden, terrifying 21,000 ft descent was caused by a co-pilot smoking a electronic cigarette mid-flight, which led to a series of events that led to the deployment of oxygen masks and, in turn, opposes the pilot.
Chinese researchers announced their findings July 13, three days after the July 10 incident, which occurred on board of Flight CA106 from Hong Kong to Dalian 30 minutes after its 5:55 p.m. to rise, BBC reports.
“In the preliminary investigation, the co-pilot was found to be smoking an e-cigarette,” China News reported the Civil Aviation Administration of China ‘ s findings, citing a press conference.
Air China Boeing 737-800 (B-5851) flight #CA106 from Hong Kong to Dalian made an emergency descent to 10,000 ft after a sudden loss of cabin pressure. Climbed to the en-route level again and continued to destination. https://t.co/dhXKLC52ZK pic.twitter.com/ePa5UxZMjO
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) July 11, 2018
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According to the outlet, the unnamed male co-pilot “tried to hide the fact that he was smoking” in the cockpit and attempted to turn off a fan to prevent the smoke from reaching the passenger cabin “without telling the captain,” but accidentally turned off the air conditioning unit in its place.
This blunder caused the oxygen content in the cabin to fall, and triggered the release of oxygen masks in the cabin of the ceiling, where the passengers were quickly photographed and share it on social media. Members of the crew were then quickly forced to the plane through 21,000 feet, before returning to a safe altitude.
Pilot smoking mid-air forces Air China flight emergency descent https://t.co/ASh8ety7Vi pic.twitter.com/UxtZREc0Nl
— NDTV (@ndtv) July 13, 2018
The flight was to land in Dalian without incident.
Now, officials are reportedly investigating the incident “in more detail,” the review of the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder for more information. In the wake of the scare, the BBC reports that Air China declared a “zero-tolerance” approach of the crew misconduct on Weibo, a Twitter-like social media platform popular in China.
According to The Telegraph, the incident continues to be the trend on the Chinese social media, “with some commentators demanding stringent punishment and the revocation of the pilot’s flight license.”
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Since 2006, Chinese aviation regulations prohibit all passengers and crew of “smoking on all phases of the flight.”
Representatives of Air China not immediately return Fox News’ request for additional comment.
Fox News’ Alexandra Deabler contributed to this report.
Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox News Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter via @JaninePuhak