An elderly Chinese passenger was detained by authorities after she delayed a flight at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport by throwing coins into an airplane engine. Chinese officials state that the superstitious passenger did so for “good luck.”
The 80-year-old passenger delayed airplane heading from Shanghai to Guangzhou, forcing nearly 150 passengers to be evacuated. According to police, the elderly woman threw nine coins at the engine of the China Southern Airlines flight during boarding at the tarmac. Eight of the coins missed their mark, but the last one lodged itself inside one of the engines. A passenger spotted her actions and reported her to police.
According to Channel News Asia, the elderly woman was traveling with her husband, daughter, and son-in-law.
“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 wrote in a statement on Weibo. “In order to make sure the flight is safe, China Southern maintenance has conducted a full exam of the plane’s engine.”
The news story became a trending topic on Weibo, where they mocked her for confusing the airplane engine with a “wish fountain with turtles.”