Plane Delayed After Coins Thrown in Engine 'For Luck'

The elderly woman was detained by police at Shanghai Pudong International Airport following the bizarre incident forcing nearly 150 passengers to be evacuated from the plane bound for Guangzhou in southern China

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

China Southern Airlines Flight 380 was held up at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport after an elderly woman passenger caused a disruption, according to the airlines official WeChat account.

One of the passengers boarding the plane with the elderly woman said she threw the coins into the engine to wish it a safe flight. Maintenance crews checked the engines and found nine coins.

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

Chinese police detained the passenger and released a statement.

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.

Qiu was confirmed to have no previous criminal records and no history of mental illness.

Her "good luck" ritual prompted concerned passengers to alert airline staff, who conducted a full examination of the engine and evacuated 150 passengers. "According to Qiu's neighbour, Qiu believes in Buddhism", the police said.

The airline subsequently urged fliers to obey civil aviation rules and avoid behavior that could put the safety of passengers at risk.

A woman has been placed under investigation in Shanghai city for flipping coins into an aircraft engine to "pray for safety".

That ended up delaying the plane for five hours.