A man has attempted to start a fire on board a Chinese flight using petrol and a cigarette lighter, but was restrained by passengers and crew members before taken into custody, the aviation authority said.

The attempted arson occurred on Sunday on board a Shenzhen Airlines flight from the city of Taizhou to Guangzhou near Hong Kong, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said.

Official broadcaster CCTV and other state media reported that the pilot issued a mayday call and the plane was guided into Guangzhou airport. Slides were deployed and 95 passengers and nine crew members were evacuated. Two people were injured.

Photos posted on newspaper websites showed a partially charred passenger seat and a blackened emergency exit door on the plane.

Aviation officials said an investigation into the arson bid was under way but gave no other details.

It was the latest in a rash of dangerous incidents aboard Chinese flights, including passengers opening emergency exits and fights with crew members, the AP news agency reported.

The incident appears to point to a serious breakdown in security at Taizhou airport. China bans the carrying of cigarette lighters and flammable substances, including spirits, aboard all flights.

A statement from Shenzhen Airlines confirmed the incident but offered no additional details.

Source: AP