An Elderly Woman in China Delayed a Flight By Throwing Coins at the Engine for Good Luck

Jun 28, 2017

An elderly passenger caused the evacuation of nearly 150 fellow travelers on a plane in China Tuesday after she tossed a handful of coins at the aircraft — apparently in a good luck gesture for the flight's safety — with one landing inside the plane's engine.

CNN reports that police detained the 80-year-old woman after receiving reports that she had been seen on the tarmac of Shanghai's Pudong International Airport throwing money at the Guangzhou-bound flight CZ380.

"The passenger, surnamed Qiu, who has no prior criminal record or mental health issues, claimed she tossed coins as a prayer for a safe flight," Shanghai Police said in a statement cited by CNN.

After evacuating the plane, an Airbus A320 operated by China Southern Airlines, police recovered one coin from inside its engine and found a further eight scattered on the ground nearby. The flight was reportedly delayed for more than five hours as a result.

Agence France-Presse reports that the carrier released a statement on Weibo, China's Twitter-like microblogging platform, saying it had "conducted a full exam of the plane's engine" before authorizing take-off.

Other Weibo users had a field day with the story. "Grandma, this is not a wish fountain with turtles," one user reportedly wrote.

[CNN]

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