Saturday 3 December 2016

Stowaway scorpion stings air passenger

Rachael Alexander in Portland

Published 01/07/2011 | 05:00

An air passenger got a nasty surprise on a commercial flight from Seattle to Anchorage, Alaska, when he was stung by a scorpion while sitting in his plane seat.

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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.

"I picked my hand up and said, 'oh, my God. That's a scorpion'," Mr Ellis said.

He said he grabbed the scorpion with a napkin and showed it to his girlfriend, but not before it stung him on the elbow.

"At first I didn't believe him," said Suzanne Foster, Mr Ellis's girlfriend. "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."

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 examined Mr Ellis, while the flight crew called for medics to meet the plane at Anchorage airport.

The flight originated from Austin, Texas, where Alaska Airlines officials believe the scorpion got on board.

Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said the airline has never had a poisonous creature on one of its flights before.

Ellis said he is pleased with how the flight crew and the airline handled the situation.

The airline offered him 4,000 frequent-flier miles (6,500km) and two return tickets.

Irish Independent

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