Man stung by scorpion on plane
Published 30/06/2011 | 19:54
A man got a big surprise on a commercial flight from Seattle to Anchorage, Alaska, when he was stung by a scorpion while sitting in his plane seat.
Jeff Ellis, of Oregon, said he was trying to sleep on an overnight Alaska Airlines flight on June 17 when he felt something in his sleeve and tried to brush it away. He said he felt the crawling again, looked down and saw the culprit. He said he grabbed the scorpion with a napkin and showed it to his girlfriend Suzanne Foster, but not before it stung him on the elbow.
Ms Foster called for the flight attendant as Mr Ellis noticed his elbow burning. He said it felt like a bee sting. Two doctors on board checked Mr Ellis while the flight crew called for medics to meet the plane at the Anchorage airport. The flight originated from Austin, Texas, where Alaska Airlines officials believe the scorpion got on board.
Mr Ellis said: "I picked my hand up and said, 'Oh, my God. That's a scorpion'." Ms Foster said: "At first I didn't believe him. But then I saw it. He held the napkin up for me to see, and I saw the tail wiggling. I pretty much jumped out of my seat."
Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said the airline has never had a poisonous creature on one of its flights before.
Based on photos he took of the scorpion, Mr Ellis believes he was stung by a striped bark scorpion common in Texas.
Mr Ellis said he was pleased with how the flight crew and the airline handled the situation. He said the airline has offered him 4,000 frequent-flier miles and two round-trip tickets.