To boldly go: Chinese aircraft cleaners retrieve US$44,000 diamond ring dropped in toilet
Workers climb into emptied tank and wade barefoot though pond of waste to recover two-carat jewel
A Chinese air passenger has discovered that diamonds really are forever, after recovering his two-carat ring that was accidentally flushed down a toilet, mainland media reported.
The man from Huzhou in Zhejiang province dropped the 300,000 yuan (US$43,700) diamond ring in the toilet bowl of a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Hangzhou earlier this week, Zhejiang TV reported.
After the plane landed at Hangzhou’s Xiaoshan International Airport, flight crew members assisted the man in contacting the cleaning department at the airport’s ground services company.
Two cleaning staff pumped the waste water from the aircraft into the tank of a sewage truck, before discharging it into an open space. The dedicated crew walked barefoot through the released waste water in search of the ring. Later, they even had to examine the inside of the sewage tank itself.
The ring was finally recovered after an hour-long search, and both staff members later reported feeling queasy despite taking long showers after the search.
“After crouching down, we put our hands on the ground to get inside the sewage tank,” cleaner Wang Chuan later recounted to reporters. “One hand holding a phone as a flashlight, the other hand on the ground.”
But their efforts were rewarded, and the passenger repeatedly thanked them for finding the ring. The report did not say if he shook their hands.
While the passenger was relieved, online users on Sina Weibo were less than impressed with him.
“Why didn’t the passenger try to find it himself?” one commenter asked.
“The person who lost it is should have at least searched with them,” another added.