Chinese netizens were outraged after photos of three passengers posing with a gun-shaped item on a plane went viral on Monday.
In the photos shared by a civil aviation related WeChat account@Tingjiping on Monday, one man is seen pointing what looks like a black gun at two other men – one of whom is seen recoiling in fear.
The photos were taken on a flight as it was about to depart from the Beijing Capital International Airport, according to the Beijing Youth Daily, and were first posted by one of the men on his WeChat Friends Circle, a private messaging platform that only one’s friends can access. However, they were later leaked, triggering public criticism.
The biggest question that people raised was how such a dangerous object could have gotten onboard a plane without the security staff having noticed it. However, some others have pointed out that the supposed gun could actually have just been a laptop battery pack.
Commenting on the reports, a staff member in charge of security checks at airport told the Beijing Youth Daily that it’s easy to discover a gun, either real or fake, via the scanning machine.
Despite that, the object did get onboard and the pictures have resulted in social media users chastising the three men for their disregard for civil aviation regulations and other passengers’ safety.
“Is it fun? What if other passengers broke into panic after seeing the gun and began fleeing in a large group while in the air, leading to a crash? Would you still smile if that happened?” questioned the WeChat account @Tingjiping.
As per Chinese laws, there is a strict ban on bringing weapons, including guns and controlled knives, while traveling via public transport. Police at Beijing airport have said that they are investigating the case.