Yesterday when Shanghaiist arrived at work, the boss said, “pick up a copy of yesterday’s China Daily. They’ve got a story about the gun holdup on [colleague’s name]’s flight to Beijing.”
Holdup? Gun? On an airplane? In China?
Let’s be clear. The holdup was really a delay. But there was still a man, who claimed that — because of his position as an “officer” — he could carry a loaded gun on a domestic flight. The plane being from Hong Kong, the captain refused to take off, thus “holding up” the flight for two hours. Only slightly less disconcerting than a headstrong man with a gun on a Chinese airplane is the response from those in charge.
According to the China Daily, the Air China staff at Hongqiao said the plane took off only 25 minutes late. Then another told the China Daily it was delayed for 110 minutes for unknown reasons. According to the story:
Police at the airport also claimed ignorance of the drama, which had unfolded on the asphalt just metres from their station.
So just who can carry guns on international flights in Mainland China?
Xu Zhihui, an officer on duty at the airport passenger security check, said his department had strictly followed all rules and insisted a passenger could only have passed through carrying a gun if he had the necessary certification. But Xu would not be drawn on [drawn on?] exactly what criteria had to be met for someone to carry a gun on board, saying: “A lot of security information is secret and this is confidential because it concerns security officers, not the general public.”
Xu then went on to blame Air China, even after admitting he didn’t know who exactly was allowed to carry guns on airplanes.
Hopefully someone will figure this out before next week’s unexpected government holiday, when the Stans comes to town.
Image from first-to-fly