Elderly woman throws coins into plane engine, delays flight

Flight delayed for more than five hours after 'woman throws coins in engine for good luck'

To ensure good luck for fellow passengers, a woman on a flight to Guangzhou made a decision to toss coins into the plane's engine.

Bad weather, crowded skies and military drills...and now add coin-tossing to the growing list of reasons for China's notorious flight delays.

Airport employees said she appeared to be about 80, and she had "limited mobility and was accompanied by her husband, daughter and son-in-law", The Straits Times reported.

An elderly woman has delayed a flight from Shanghai for several hours after throwing coins into its engine "for good luck", according to Chinese officials. The captain said that metal sucked into a jet engine could lead to engine failure.

The woman was placed under investigation by airport police, however she was not found to have a mental illness.

Qiu was held by police in Shanghai while her fellow passengers eventually took off, landing safely in Guangzhou a few hours later (all thanks to her).

The flight, carrying almost 150 passengers, eventually took off at 17:52 local time (09:52 UTC), over five hours later than scheduled. "According to Qiu's neighbour, Qiu believes in Buddhism", police said.

Users of the social media site Weibo were very animated by the event, with one writing: "Grandma, this is not a wish fountain with turtles".

Some airlines such as Shenzhen Airlines dispatch staff to stand beside the aircraft engine, or use sealed ladders to take passengers onto the aircraft to prevent similar incidents.

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