16 February 2015

Scorpion stings woman on plane, delaying flight at LAX

An Alaska Airlines flight en route to Portland had to return to the gate at Los Angeles International Airport Saturday night after a woman was stung by a scorpion, airline officials said.

Medical personnel responded to the woman, who was stung in the arm, according to Cole Cosgrove, a spokesman for the airline. Flight attendants killed the scorpion and searched overhead compartments for "any additional, unwanted arachnids."
The unidentified woman refused additional medical treatment but did not get back on the plane, Cosgrove told the Associated Press.

The flight took off at about 8:40 p.m., 50 minutes behind schedule. It landed safely in Portland late Saturday night.

It's unclear how the scorpion got on the flight, which originated in Los Cabos, Mexico.

Both the Oregon State men's basketball team (which lost to USC 68-55) and the Portland University women's basketball team (which lost to Loyola Marymount 77-73) were on the commercial flight.

"No one seemed frantic at all, not even the woman who was stung," Mike Parker, a sports announcer for Oregon State University, told CNN. "The flight attendants did a great job, as did the captain."

Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said the scorpion-sting victim was seated two rows in front of him on the plane.

“The woman was a real champ," Tinkle told ESPN. "She acted like it was a mosquito bite.”

It's not the first time a passenger aboard an Alaska Airlines flight was stung by a scorpion. In 2011, a similar incident occurred on a flight from Seattle to Anchorage.

"I felt it on my shirt-sleeve and brushed it off, I thought it was a little spider or something," Jeff Ellis told the Associated Press. "Then I felt it back on my elbow."

Flight attendants captured the scorpion, and doctors on the ground told 55-year-old to monitor himself for a possible allergic reaction until the flight landed.

"In the movies, scorpions kill people," he said. "I was just nervous, on edge, making sure that my heart was beating normal, that I wasn't sweating."

Ellis was treated and released. Airline officials said the scorpion probably crawled on board the plane during a stop in Austin, Texas.

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