Man Attempts to Set Fire Aboard Shenzhen Airlines Flight
Photo via Twitter/mazepenghaha
In what is being called “attempted arson” by officials, a passenger tried to start a fire aboard a Shenzhen Airlines flight early Sunday, the Associated Press reported. The incident occurred around 1 a.m. local time on Flight ZH9648 from the city of Taizhou to Guangzhou near Hong Kong.
The Aviation Safety Network said that the passenger attempted to set off a conflagration with gasoline and a lighter. Before any life-threatening damage could occur, passengers and crew restrained the man.
CCTV and other state media reports stated that the pilot put out a mayday call, and the plane had to be guided into Guangzhou airport. The 95 passengers and nine crew were evacuated by slides, and the attempted arsonist was taken into custody. Two were injured.
Photos released shortly after the incident show charring to a passenger seat and a blackened emergency door.
The AP said the “incident appears to point to a serious breakdown in security at Taizhou airport,” and added that China does not allow cigarette lighters or flammable substances — including spirits — on any flights.
It was the latest in a rash of hazardous incidents aboard Chinese commercial flights, the AP stated. These include passengers opening emergency exits and fights between fliers and crew.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China said an investigation is in progress regarding the attempted arson, but provided no other details. Shenzhen Airlines confirmed the incident in a statement, but did not offer any additional information.
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