An hour after takeoff of China Eastern flight MU738 last Wednesday, a two-year-old boy got his finger stuck under a TV screen. His mom, not noticing, then almost ripped the poor child’s finger off.
“The bone did not fracture but the skin was pulled apart and the bone could be seen,” said Jason Lu of China Eastern’s Australia office, as reported by Shanghai Daily.
The plane was 10 hours from its destination of Pudong International Airport, so the pilot turned back.
Probably since no one wanted to hear a bleeding toddler scream for 10 straight hours, “The 300-plus passengers were all calm and supportive of the decision,” said passenger Xu Yangdong.
Lu said the decision to turn the plane around had cost the airline some 3 million yuan (US$490,200).
The plane had to release some 60 tons of fuel before landing in Melbourne to avoid damage to the undercarriage as the fully fuelled aircraft would have been too heavy to land.
As wasteful as that seems, we actually have to commend China Eastern on its decision. We’ve seen flights turned around due to fights from belligerent drunks, which is stupid. A boy with a severe injury? Understandable. And we suppose, all things considered, China Eastern is due for a bit of good publicity.
China Eastern flight heads back to Melbourne after boy injures finger (Shanghai Daily, h/t Alicia)