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Flight in China delayed four hours after passenger throws coins into engine

A flight in China was delayed by more than four hours on Wednesday after a passenger threw coins into the engine, according to Chinese state media.

China Southern Airlines flight CZ8805 was originally scheduled to take off from the southern city of Sanya to Beijing around 10 a.m. local time on March 6, but it did not depart until around 2:16 p.m. local time, flight-tracking websites Flightradar24 and Flight Aware showed.

In a video shared by multiple state media outlets, a flight attendant is seen questioning a passenger believed to have thrown the coins, asking them how many coins were thrown into the engine. The passenger, whose identity was not revealed in the video or by state media, can be heard on camera saying “three to five” coins.

The passenger who allegedly threw the coins was later taken away by airport police, state media reported, citing Chinese Southern Airlines.

The airline said coins were found during security checks, but did not specify how many were located.

“The aircraft maintenance staff conducted a comprehensive safety inspection and determined that there were no safety issues before takeoff,” the airline’s customer service told state media.

‘Prayer for a safe flight’

China Southern Airlines issued a warning against “uncivilized behaviors” on their official Chinese social media Weibo account on Wednesday, saying “throwing coins at the plane pose a threat to aviation safety and will result in different levels of punishment.” However, the post did not reference the incident directly.

CNN has reached out to China Southern Airlines.

Similar incidents of people throwing coins at planes, apparently for “good luck,” have occurred in recent years in China.

Last October, a China Southern Airlines flight was delayed in Guangzhou after a passenger was observed throwing coins towards the plane. In 2021, a GX Airlines flight between Weifang and Haikou was canceled when several coins wrapped in red paper were discovered on the ground. And in 2017, an elderly passenger threw coins at a China Southern Airlines plane during boarding at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport, claiming it was “a prayer for a safe flight.”

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