Scorpion Falls From Overhead Bin on a United Flight, Lands on Man’s Head

Apr 13, 2017

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Guess who’s back in the news this morning? United Airlines.

We’ve been following the nightmare that’s ensued after a man was forcibly dragged off a flight on Sunday, and now United’s dealing with this — an unlikely eight-legged creature that fell from an overhead bin and stung a passenger.

Richard Bell and his wife Linda were on United Flight 1418 from Houston (IAH) back home to Calgary (YYC) after spending two weeks on vacation in Mexico. The Bells, who were sitting in business class, were in the air when Richard felt something drop on his head while he was eating lunch. When he reached up to grab whatever had just fallen, he realized it was a scorpion so he grabbed it by its tail so it couldn’t sting him.

When a neighboring passenger told Bell that the scorpion was potentially dangerous, he dropped it on his plate. But when he picked it back up again, the scorpion stung him on the hand, which he described as feeling like a wasp sting. From there, Bell tossed the scorpion on the floor and passengers stepped on it before tossing it in the lavatory.

Of course, the issue was then if the scorpion was poisonous. Flight attendants made calls and an on-board nurse gave Bell Demerol, a painkiller, as a precaution. And when the plane landed, EMS boarded the flight but Bell showed no sign of distress and declined medical attention.

It’s unclear how the scorpion got on the plane and into the overhead compartment, but it was likely stuck inside someone’s luggage. United Airlines said that it’s looking into the incident, but Bell hopes to get some compensation for his encounter.

This isn’t the first unlikely animal encounter of its kind at 35,000 feet. Last year, we told you about a five-foot-long viper that made an appearance on an Aeromexico flight, giving a whole new meaning to Samuel L. Jackson’s 2006 film, “Snakes on a Plane.” Also last April, Air India was struck with a rat plague. Throughout the month, there were three rat spottings on the carrier’s Dreamliners. Also, earlier this year, a mouse delayed a British Airways flight for more than four hours — just because it was there.

And if seeing creatures in the air isn’t so much your thing, how about spotting them on the ground? Just this month, a snake was found in a drawer at the Marriott Residence Inn in Worcester, Massachusetts. The snake was found by a hotel staff member and is believed to have been left behind by a guest. Upon further investigation, the snake was identified as a golden child reticulated python, which can grow up to 18 feet long.

Featured image courtesy of johnaudrey via Getty Images.

H/T: Global News Canada

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