She threw the coins as she ‘prayed for safety’ and so they would have a smooth journey, she told police.
Only one of the nine coins she threw managed to lodge itself into its intended target – but this was enough to mean that the 150 passengers on board had to wait around for several hours. Police were called to Shanghai Pudong International Airport after a passenger noticed the woman’s weird behavior. The woman was travelling with her husband, daughter and son-in-law.
“In order to make sure the flight is safe, China Southern maintenance has conducted a full examination of the plane’s engine,” China Southern Airlines said in a statement on the micro blogging site Weibo. They also tweeted a picture of the coins.
“After an investigation the involved passenger, surnamed Qiu, said she threw the coins to pray for safety. According to Qiu’s neighbour, Qiu believes in Buddhism,” the police said. The flight took off five hours later.
Chinese people took to the social media site Weibo for a bit of banter about the ordeal, with one user commenting: “Grandma, this is not a wish fountain with turtles.”
Total value of the coins adds up to 1.7 yuan found (about 25 US cents), but local media estimated the cost of engine inspection and flight delay could easily run in the thousands of dollars.