Scorpion found on flight to Toronto, Canada

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Monday, January 8, 2007

A black scorpion.

A man who visited Costa Rica who was on American Airlines flight 1552 from Miami, Florida to Toronto was stung by a scorpion on Sunday. The scorpion was from Costa Rica, where the man was on a camping trip with his brother.

The scorpion crawled out of the man's carry-on knapsack. Then, the scorpion stung the man, who is believed to be in his 20s or early 30s. Flight officials immediately delayed the outbound flight. The man was treated by paramedics and was taken to hospital.

Later, the scorpion was killed. Animal control officers said the scorpion was a non-lethal species.

"We delayed the outbound flight and searched the cabin of the aircraft to see if we could find any more, which we did not," said John Hotard, a company spokesman in Fort Worth, Texas. "This is rare. I'm not aware of a scorpion stinging a person on any of our flights before."

"We've had cases where passengers have brought critters on board in their backpack and they get out and crawl around, but it's rare," he added.

They arrived safely at Toronto's Pearson International Airport. The flight back to Miami was delayed by less than an hour.

When the flight resumed, the pilot said: "Welcome to Scorpion Flight 1011."

The scorpion is said to have been brought on the plane unintentionally.