Elderly woman tossed coins into plane's engine for 'good luck'

By Daniel Uria  |  June 27, 2017 at 1:07 PM
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June 27 (UPI) -- A flight in China was delayed several hours after an elderly passenger tossed coins into the engine for "good luck."

The 80-year-old woman with the last name Qiu was seen tossing coins into the engine of the Airbus 320 while boarding the plane scheduled to fly from Pudong to Guangzhou to "wish a safe flight."

Passengers who had already boarded the plane were asked to get off, as mechanics searched to determine if any coins were left inside the engine.

Crews recovered one coin that landed inside the engine and eight more in the surrounding area during the inspection, which lasted about five hours.

The pilot said serious damage, including engine failure, can occur if metal is sucked into the engine.

Police confirmed Qiu, who was traveling with husband, daughter and son-in-law, did not have a criminal record or any indication of mental illness.

China Southern Airlines said activities that threaten passenger safety are prohibited and the incident remains under investigation.

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