A man attempted to set a fire on board a Chinese flight early Sunday, but was restrained by passengers and crew members and taken into custody, the aviation authority said. It was the latest in a rash of dangerous incidents aboard Chinese flights, including passengers opening emergency exits and fights between flyers and crew members. AP reports:
The attempted arson occurred at around 1:00 a.m. Sunday aboard a Shenzhen Airlines flight from the city of Taizhou to Guangzhou near Hong Kong, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said. It said an investigation was underway but gave no other details.
Photos posted on newspaper websites showed a partially charred passenger seat and a blackened emergency exit door. Official broadcaster CCTV and other state media reported that the pilot issued a mayday call and the plane was guided into Guangzhou airport. Slides were deployed and 95 passengers and nine crew members were evacuated. Two people were injured.
The incident appears to point to a serious breakdown in security at Taizhou airport. China bans the carrying of cigarette lighters and flammable substances, including spirits, aboard all flights. A statement from Shenzhen Airlines confirmed the incident but offered no additional details.