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Fasten your seatbelt! But there’s a scorpion stinging me…

March 13, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

As airline passengers fastened their seatbelts for landing, a woman felt a piercing pain on her lower back as an enormous 10cm-long scorpion emerged from a fold in the seat and stung her – only for a flight attendant to say her agony was just a scratch from a chewing gum wrapper.

The painful incident occurred on an Air Transat flight from Toronto to Calgary on 26 February, CBC News in Canada reported.

Quin Maltais from Yukon was in the last hour of a four-hour flight when she felt a strange fluttering motion on her lower back.

At first, she thought it was just the air conditioning blowing down her back – until an agonising pain struck and she said “oh, my God, something bit me”.

Maltais said she was freaking out – but couldn’t take her seatbelt off as the plane was landing.

“I looked behind me on the seat and then I saw movement and there was a scorpion that was in the fold toward the back of the chair.”

Maltais said the insect was about four inches [10.16 cm] long. That’s about the size of a king prawn.

She said when she tried to tell a flight attendant what was happening, the attendant inspected the back of her seat and found a gum wrapper – and then tried to tell her that was what had stung her.

Maltais told the attendant to check again – whereupon the scorpion emerged. Crew captured it.

Paramedics met Maltais on landing and escorted her off the plane, strapped to a heart monitor and suffering “a full-fledged panic attack”.


Air Transat later issued a statement: “Although this is an extremely rare situation, it can unfortunately occur. Our teams followed the protocols in place and a complete inspection of the aircraft, as well as an extermination process, were carried out.”

The airline didn’t suggest how a scorpion could have got aboard the flight.

Written by Peter Needham

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