Firefighters at Chinese Airport Delay Flights After Wrong Spray

Firefighters at a Chinese airport responded within minutes when the crew of taxiing Boeing 737-800 reported sparks coming from an engine, reports USA Today.

The firefighters then sprayed foam on the wrong 737-800, dousing a different airline’s plane at the airport serving the southeastern Chinese city of Fuzhou.

Eight fire trucks arrived to the scene just four minutes after the initial report. The Associated Press says they “quickly turned their attention to the correct plane, but the other one — with passengers aboard — was delayed 10 hours and the entire incident delayed 30 flights, the airport said in a statement.” No one was injured, according to media reports.

It all started when the crew of a Beijing-bound Air China 737-800 reported problems with one of the plane’s engines. When firefighters arrived, the Air China aircraft’s engines were switched off. But exhaust fumes were visible from a nearby Fuzhou Airlines 737-800, so the firefighters mistakenly sprayed foam on that plane instead. The airport’s control alerted firefighters of the mistake.

Fuzhou Airlines tells AP its aircraft ended up covered in fire-retardant white foam and had to undergo a safety check after the incident. It finally took off about 10 hours later.

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