Firefighters spray wrong plane with foam at Chinese airport

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.

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.