An elderly airline passenger in China delayed a flight for several hours on Tuesday after she threw coins at one of the plane's engines to "pray for safety," state media reported. The superstitious 80-year-old threw the coins at the engine while she stood on the stairs waiting to board a China Southern Airlines flight from Shanghai to Guangzhou. Airline staff, who had been alerted by concerned witnesses, later found nine coins including one inside the engine.
The plane's captains said the coins could have disrupted the engine if it had sucked them in. The airline conducted a full examination of the plane before it finally took off more than five hours late. The woman was placed under investigation by airport police, however she was not found to have a mental illness. Neighbours of the woman said they suspected she was a Buddhist.