Chinese airport fire fighters smother wrong plane in foam

A photo taken by a passenger on a Fuzhou airlines plane in Fuzhou, China, and posted under his alias "Life in Mask" on the Chinese social network Weibo, shows an Air China jetliner on the tarmac that fire fighters mistakenly sprayed with foam, Dec. 11, 2015.

Weibo/"Life in Mask"

BEIJING -- When crew members of a passenger plane reported sparks coming from an engine while taxiing at an airport in southern China, eight fire trucks responded within minutes. Then they covered the wrong plane with white foam.

The mistake at the Fuzhou city airport Thursday was quickly amended and the firefighters 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.

The Air China flight had reported the problems in a right-side engine of a Boeing 737-800 for a flight headed to Beijing. By the time firefighters arrived four minutes later, engines were switched off. However, a Fuzhou Airlines plane of the same make had exhaust fumes coming from its tail.

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Fire fighters and an airport official speak in this photo taken by a passenger on a Fuzhou airlines plane in Fuzhou, China, and posted under his alias "Life in Mask" on the Chinese social network Weibo, after the emergency workers mistakenly sprayed another plane with foam, Dec. 11, 2015.
Weibo/"Life in Mask"

The firefighters sprayed the Fuzhou Airlines plane with foam until the airport's control center alerted them to the mistake, and then they sprayed the right plane, the airport said.

Fuzhou Airlines said its plane was covered with white foam and had to be towed away to check its engines. It took off about 10 hours later.

The airport apologized for the inconvenience.