An elderly passenger on a flight from Shanghai to Guangzhou allegedly threw coins into the plane's engine for "good luck" while boarding, according to Chinese media reports, forcing the plane to remain on the tarmac for five more hours.
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China Southern Airlines Flight 380 was held up at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport after passengers saw the woman throwing coins at the engine from the middle of the boarding staircase and alerted the crew, reported The South China Morning Post.
After maintenance crew inspected the aircraft, they found nine coins in one engine. The captain was quoted as saying that if the metal was sucked up by the engine, it could have caused a catastrophic failure.
“A senior passenger threw coins to the plane’s engine and delayed the flight. The passenger involved has been taken away by police,” China Southern Airlines said in a statement on its Twitter-like Weibo account, reported AFP.
“In order to make sure the flight is safe, China Southern maintenance has conducted a full exam of the plane’s engine.”