Elderly woman throws coins into plane engine, delays flight

  • 28/06/2017
Crew search for coins thrown by a woman
The woman threw coins into the jet for "good luck." Photo credit: Flightorg / Twitter

A domestic flight in China was delayed after an elderly woman passenger threw coins into the jet's engine to ensure "good luck".

The China Southern Airlines flight from Shanghai to Guangzhou was delayed for five hours, and 150 passengers were evacuated as airline staff examined the engine, according to local media.

South China Morning Post reported passengers saw an elderly woman throw the coins for blessings from the middle of the boarding staircase and alerted crew.

Ground staff said the woman, who appeared to be about 80 and had limited mobility, was accompanied by her husband, daughter and son-in-law.

After maintenance crew inspected the aircraft, they found nine coins in one engine.

The captain was quoted as saying the metal, if sucked up by the engine, could have caused serious damage, including failure.

Chinese police detained the woman and released a statement.

"After investigation the involved passenger surnamed Qiu said she threw the coins to pray for safety. According to Qiu's neighbour, Qiu believes in Buddhism."

News of the incident spread on Weibo with one user commenting "Grandma, this is not a wish fountain with turtles".