A China Southern Airlines flight with about 150 passengers was delayed for over five hours at the Shanghai airport on Tuesday after an elderly lady tossed coins at a plane engine for “good luck”.
Flight CZ380 was scheduled to leave Pudong International Airport at 12:40 pm but was forced to put off the departure until after 6 in the evening due to an incident involving a female passenger.
According to mainland media, a woman in her 80s threw coins at one of the plane’s engines as she was boarding the aircraft.
The woman, identified as Qiu, threw the coins as she believed it will bring luck and ensure a safe journey.
Xinmin Evening News reports that the incident happened after the elderly lady was escorted to the boarding ladder in a wheelchair.
As Qiu was halfway up the ladder, she took out some coins and threw them at an engine. A fellow passenger witnessed the action and reported the matter to the cabin crew.
The cabin crew then alerted airline authorities, prompting an emergency inspection.
All the passengers were asked to leave the aircraft so that maintenance staff can conduct a thorough examination and remove any coins that may have landed inside the engine.
The crew found a total of nine coins at the scene. One of the coins was lying inside the engine of the A320 aircraft, while the others were found scattered nearby.
After staff made sure that the engine had no foreign objects inside, the flight, which was bound for Guangzhou, eventually took off at 6.16 pm.
Qiu, meanwhile, was taken away for questioning by the Shanghai police. Officials were quoted as saying that the elderly woman has no prior criminal record or documented mental illness.
An investigation is ongoing. According to some reports, Qiu is likely to be let off without charges.
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