The incident occurred on Wednesday at the airport in the city of Anqing in eastern China's Anhui province, according to authorities, and was at least the second such report this year of a safety scare caused by a coin-tossing elderly Chinese.
Fellow passengers reported that coins were tossed at the engine of a Lucky Air jet during boarding, and ground crew later found coins lying on the tarmac next to the plane, according to various statements by the airline, airport authorities, and transport police.
A 76-year-old woman was subsequently taken into custody, transport police said. It was not clear whether she would face charges. Lucky Air is under the Hainan Airlines group.
The flight, which was to depart Anqing for the city of Kunming in southwestern China, was grounded overnight as a safety precaution. The passengers were subsequently flown to Kunming the following morning, authorities said.
The woman was detained but eventually spared prosecution due to her age, state media reported. Shanghai airport authorities said she was a devoted Buddhist and believed the act would ensure her safety on the flight to the southern city of Guangzhou.
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