An 80-year-old Chinese woman has been detained by police for throwing nine coins at a plane’s engine, reported Channel News Asia. She had done so in order to pray for a safe flight.
The elderly woman, identified as Qiu, was travelling to Guangzhou with her family and was boarding on the tarmac at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Although only one coin scored Qiu a bullseye, it was enough to cause almost 150 passengers to be evacuated from the plane.
“In order to make sure the flight is safe, our maintenance team has conducted a full examination of the plane’s engine,” China Southern Airlines said in a statement on Chinese microblogging site Weibo.
News of the incident caused an uproar among Weibo users, who took to the site to taunt Qiu’s actions. One commented, “It can’t be her first time doing this if it’s ritualistic for her. Someone should do a check on all the planes she has flown with.”
It’s actually possible that she could end up on someone’s checklist. The Chinese government’s “tourism blacklist” is used to shame tourists, both domestically and abroad, who make the country look bad, reported the New York Times in 2015. It adds the names of Chinese tourists caught behaving badly to a list submitted to travel companies and airlines, among other organisations. The names remain in the list for three years.