Australian airlines to ban flights from Hainan in coming days

HANAN, China — An Australian airline on Wednesday said it will halt flights from a major Chinese airport after authorities found evidence of drug use at a nearby airport.

AirAsia Group said it was investigating a report that a man had been caught using an IV to inject drugs in the air, while its rival, Emirates, said its pilots had seen the man being restrained in an airport terminal.

Air Asia Group said in a statement that it was taking “immediate steps” to suspend its operations at the airport, which has about 5,500 international flights a day.

The airline said the incident took place in a busy airport at Changsha International Airport in Henan province.

The company said it had contacted local authorities, and the man has been taken to the hospital for a medical examination.

It said it would issue further updates when the matter is resolved.

Air Australia said its flight from the airport would continue.

Emirates said its flights would not resume at Changsa Airport.

The latest incidents highlight how the crackdown on illegal drug use is intensifying in China, where more than 100,000 people have died of drug overdoses since the start of the year.

A study last month by the National Drug Control Center found that the country was responsible for more than half of all illicit drug deaths in the world, including heroin and fentanyl, in the first nine months of this year.

More: China is responsible for nearly 60 percent of all drug-related deaths in Europe and the U.S.