A Chinese passenger has been arrested after he allegedly threw coins into the flight's engine moments before take off.

According to Chinese official media, China Southern Airlines flight CZ8805 was supposed to depart from Sanya to Beijing at 10 a.m. local time on March 6, but it left four hours later.

PHOTO | COURTESY China Southern Airlines flight

In footage released by numerous state media sites, a flight attendant is shown questioning a passenger suspected of throwing the money. The attendant asks how many pennies were thrown into the engine. The passenger, whose identity was not revealed in the video or by state media, is heard on camera saying, "three to five" pennies.

According to state media, airport authorities apprehended the man who allegedly hurled the coins.

PHOTO | COURTESY , China Southern Airlines flight

The airline stated that coins were discovered during security checks but did not indicate how many were recovered.

"The aircraft maintenance staff conducted a comprehensive safety inspection and determined that there were no safety issues before takeoff," the airline's customer service department informed state media.

China Southern Airlines warned against "uncivilised behaviours" on its official Chinese social media Weibo account, stating that "throwing coins at the plane poses a threat to aviation safety and will result in different levels of punishment." The post, however, made no direct reference to the incident.