Images posted on Facebook yesterday (January 2) showing pieces of the lantern in the engine of an Airbus A320 plane at Chiang Mai airport drew criticism from many online users and were shared widely on social media.
Facebook user Bearly de Grizzly, who posted the images, said airport officials found lantern pieces and this prompted authorities to immediately cancel the flight on Thursday night for safety reasons. Passengers had to be transferred to other flights.
He claimed to be a technician for the Department of Civil Aviation.
Another Facebook user, Janat Sanguansak, posted a message saying the incident took place at 7.40pm. The plane which had flown from Suvarnabhumi airport was waiting for passengers at Chiang Mai airport.
During a pre-flight inspection, officials found that a lantern had become stuck in the engine, wrote the netizen.
“Luckily, it did not get stuck in the engine while in the air. If it had, it could have caught fire and led to an engine explosion ... who would have been be held responsible for the plane crash and deaths?” the Facebook user asked.
He lambasted people who release hot-air lanterns – supposedly to float their misfortunes away – for ignoring the safety of other people.
More than 3,000 Facebook users shared the images and many criticised whoever released the lantern.
“The traditional belief of some [that releasing a lantern will ward off his/her bad luck] will lead to a tragedy for other people,” Facebook user Nate Aquarius wrote.
Lanterns are a mainstay of November’s Loy Krathong celebration and cause a myriad problems for airports around the country.
This year airlines serving Chiang Mai airport cancelled 112 flights and rescheduled 50 others to avoid problems with the lanterns.
The airport warned airlines to exercise additional caution during this holiday period. More than 200 lanterns landed around Chiang Mai airport over New Year.
See original story here.