China: 80-year-old throws coins in plane engine, delays flight

Shanghai: An 80-year-old woman delayed the flight as she threw coins at the China Southern Airlines flight when she crossed the tarmac to board on Tuesday. She told the police that it was an act of her prayer which she did for safety.

She had tossed 9 coins in the air, however one hit the engine which was enough to force the evacuation of 150 passengers for several hours. Police were called to Shanghai Pudong International Airport after a passenger noticed the woman’s bizarre activity, and alerted authorities.

The woman, who was travelling with her husband, daughter and son-in-law, was then taken away for questioning by officers. She will not face charges though, reports BBC.

“In order to make sure the flight is safe, China Southern maintenance has conducted a full examination of the plane’s engine,” China Southern Airlines said in a statement on the microblogging site Weibo.
Police later shared their findings, which had a total value of about 1.7 yuan (£0.20 / $0.25).

“After an investigation, the involved passenger surnamed Qiu said she threw the coins to pray for safety. According to Qiu’s neighbour, Qiu believes in Buddhism,” the police said.

The flight took off at 17:52 local time (09:52 GMT), which was delayed by more than five hours.
China Southern Airlines later urged passengers to comply with civil aviation laws and regulations and avoid behaviour that could prove detrimental to the safety of passengers travelling on its flights.