Spider shock for engine workers
Published 12/08/2011 | 11:23
Factory workers found themselves working alongside some deadly colleagues when three black widow spiders dropped out of an aircraft engine imported from the United States.
The men, employees at jet engine maintenance company TC Power, were working on the engine at the factory at Barton-upon-Humber, north Lincolnshire, when a "black, leathery" spider appeared on Monday.
Trapping the arachnid in a glass, the workers quickly found and captured another two, but a fourth spider made its home out of reach in the frame of the engine - leaving the men to work around the poisonous guest.
Stuart Elliott, managing director of the company, said the engines were imported from Kansas and arrived via Amsterdam. He said the workers, Matt Eales, Dan and Dave Peacock, Darren Elliott and Dave Holden, were shocked when they realised exactly what they had discovered.
Mr Elliott said: "They had just started to work on the engines, taking them to pieces, when they noticed a black, leathery spider that looked quite aggressive had dropped out of the frame. We told the engineer to move, located it and trapped it in a jar and then found two more males ones. We looked them up on Google and found they were black widows.
"There's a female spider still in one of the frames and there may be spiders tucked away all over the place."
The managing director said the workers were now having to be extra vigilant to make sure they did not receive a nasty bite from the hidden spider.
"The guys are coming over in their overalls and gloves and two guys are working on the engines and one is always on spider watch," he said.
Mr Elliott said the team had been looking after the trapped spiders but appealed for someone to give them a proper home.
"We've been feeding them flies and bugs and beetles. They've made little nests for themselves and seem quite happy and it seems like they've grown in the last few days," he said. "But we can't keep these things alive forever in glass jars so we're just waiting for someone to get in touch."