Former mayor of Dunedin, New Zealand, Peter Chin, is now recovering in a hospital following a mid-air medical drama on New Year’s Eve. The 73-year-old politician was on an Air New Zealand flight NZ5032 from Dunedin to Wellington when he collapsed mid-air.

Chin went into medical distress just minutes after the plane took off on December 31. According to fellow passenger and Auckland Council’s head of emergency management planning Richard Woods, who was seated in front of Chin on the mid-morning flight, the ex-mayor suffered a medical incident, but thanks to the swift and efficient actions of the crew, Chin was resuscitated.

The plane returned to the Dunedin airport, and Chin was transported to the hospital. It then departed and arrived in Wellington two hours than its schedule.

“We were about five or 10 minutes into take-off and the fella behind me was just not very well. The airline attendant picked up on that pretty quickly, she tried to get him to respond, but he wasn’t responding,” Woods recounted to the Otago Daily Times. “She very, very efficiently pulled him down onto the floor and got the resuscitation pack out and brought him around with the assistance of the other two crew.”

He continued, “The crew were exceptional and everyone on the plane was extremely impressed. The pilot came down later and everyone was just saying how exceptional the crew had been.”

Chin wasn’t originally identified when the incident was first reported in the media. A St John Ambulance spokesman told the paper that the man was taken to the hospital in a “very serious condition.” He is expected to remain in Dunedin Hospital until further medical tests. It is still unknown what caused Chin to collapse in the plane, although cardiac arrest was reporteldy ruled out.

The 56th mayor of Dunedin served two terms from 2004 to 2010. He was defeated by Dunedin City Council councillor Dave Cull during the 2010 Dunedin mayoral election.