Quirky World: Overheated Chinese passengers open plane’s emergency exits to get a breath of fresh air

CHINA: Upset by a delayed flight, at least two Chinese passengers decided to open emergency exit doors in protest as the plane was taxiing, forcing it to abort takeoff and landing them in jail instead, police said yesterday.

The latest in a growing number of air rage cases involving Chinese travellers happened in the early hours of Saturday in the southern city of Chengdu, after the China Eastern flight was delayed by a blizzard.

Passengers complained about the delay and a lack of ventilation, and a man surnamed Zhou opened three emergency exits to prevent the plane from taking off, forcing it to return to the gate, according to state broadcaster China Central Television.

A total of 25 passengers — all part of a single tour group — were held for questioning while the rest continued on to Beijing aboard a separate flight.

Kunming police said in an online statement that Zhou and a tour guide named Li have been placed under 15-day “administrative detention” for opening the doors and inciting passengers with false information.

The plane’s ventilation system had been turned off for 30 minutes during de-icing work to prevent fumes from entering the cabin, China Eastern maintenance engineer Zhu Yun said. Although the co-pilot had been dispatched to explain, passengers remained irate even after the plane left the gate, reports said.

“Opening those doors was extremely dangerous because there was nothing to protect passengers from the force of the engines,” Zhu said.

China’s fast growing air travel market is the world’s second biggest, but heavy traffic and tight military control of airspace have given it the world’s worst record for flight delays.

Cancelations, delays and service complaints spark frequent incidents of air rage at airports and aboard flights, including those to and from foreign destinations. Brawls between passengers and attacks on crew are often filmed and posted online.

Concerns over lengthy tarmac waits prompted US aviation authorities to pass regulations in 2010 requiring planes to return to the gate after three hours.

USA:

A six-vehicle pileup on Interstate 90 in South Dakota left the road covered in 500lbs of McDonald’s chips.

The Argus Leader reports that emergency personnel in McCook County in the southeast part of the state spent Friday morning removing the chips from the road.

Emergency manager Brad Stiefvater says the vehicles collided near Salem due to zero-visibility conditions on the interstate due to snow. No one was injured. One of the vehicles involved was carrying a load of McDonald’s chips.

Stiefvater says crews had to use a plough to remove chips that had spilled out.

ENGLAND:

A bulldog who was so lazy she needed to be bribed with ham to take exercise has been crowned pet slimmer of the year by an animal charity.

Daisy, a six-year-old from Middlesbrough belonging to Gillian Turrell, has been named the Pet Fit Club champion after she shed a quarter of her weight in six months. Nicknamed Lazy Daisy by her owner’s family, the dog was spoiled with treats and would try to hitch a lift in cars when out for a walk rather than have to pad her way home.

When Gillian entered her for the competition, Daisy tipped the scales at 28kg which made her 40% overweight. But thanks to careful dieting and help she has lost 8kg. The winner of the fat- fighting contest was revealed on the ITV1 show Fat Pets: Slimmer of the Year.

USA:

Officials in San Diego are trying to work out how a five-and-a-half foot snake wound up in a toilet at an office building.

Stephanie Lacsa told San Diego County authorities she noticed the water level in the toilet was higher than usual when she went to the second-floor bathroom. When she plunged it, a snake popped up. She ran out, taped the door shut and called Animal Services.

The department says an animal control officer found a giant Colombian rainbow boa on the floor. The snake was shedding and slightly underweight. It was taken to an animal facility and bit a handler. If the owner does not show up soon, the snake will go to a rescue group. How it got in the toilet remains a mystery.


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