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Costa Rican Scorpion Wreaks Havoc on Flight

January 12, 2007

The 2006 U.S. blockbuster “Snakes on a Plane” featured a whole jet full of reptiles, plus Samuel L. Jackson. A tourist heading home to Canada from a camping trip in Costa Rica Sunday gave the film a run for its money when it comes to venomous airborne creatures, thanks to a scorpion hiding in his carry-on luggage.

Midair on the tourist’s connecting American Airlines flight from Miami, Florida to Toronto, Canada, the stow-away scorpion crawled out of the man’s backpack, climbed up his leg and stung him on the back of the knee, according to the Toronto Star. The scorpion was quickly captured and killed.

The man, whose name was not released but who is believed to be in his late 20s or early 30s, was treated by paramedics and then hospitalized when the plane landed at PearsonInternationalAirport in Toronto. Animal control officials determined that the scorpion was non-lethal and that the victim would recover fully.

Passengers waiting for the return flight to Miami, scheduled to depart at 11:30 a.m., faced an hour-long delay while airline staff searched the plane to ensure no other critters had escaped, the Star reported.

“I had never heard anything like that in my life before,” passenger Jocie Espinoza, 24, told the daily, referring to the scorpion’s problem-free passage through security checkpoints in both Costa Rica and Miami.

“How is that possible?”

When passengers finally did board the plane, the captain welcomed them to “Scorpion Flight 1011.”

In a bizarre twist making it even clearer that life sometimes imitates Hollywood, another scorpion attacked Vermont resident David Sullivan two days later on a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Vermont, originating in Houston, according to the Associated Press.

Sullivan felt a strange sting onboard, but didn’t discover the scorpion until he was stung again while waiting for his bags. It is unclear how the arachnid got aboard.

 

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