Stowaway scorpion disrupts United Airlines flight at Houston airport

Stowaway scorpion disrupts United Airlines flight at Houston airport

An Indian red scorpion. (Shantanu Kuveskar/Wikimedia Commons)

WASHINGTON – For the second time in just over a month, a scorpion hitched a free ride on a United Airlines flight.

The stowaway scorpion reportedly emerged from a passenger’s clothes Thursday evening at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

United Flight 1035 bound for Quito, Ecuador was delayed for three hours.

News of the scorpion incident got out when passengers started tweeting about the ordeal.

The airline acknowledged the incident in a statement. “Houston to Quito flight 1035 returned to the gate after a scorpion reportedly emerged from a customer’s clothing.”

“Paramedics at the gate immediately examined the customer and determined that he had not been stung. The customer declined further medical treatment and, as a precaution, a new aircraft was arranged. We provided all passengers with a meal voucher due to the delay and the flight, with the customer aboard, has departed for Quito.”

It is unclear if the scorpion was ever found.

The incident occurred 31 days after a scorpion fell from an overhead bin onto a business-class passenger’s head on another flight out of Houston. Richard Bell was stung when he picked up the arachnid after it landed on his plate. Another passenger stomped on the scorpion before a flight attendant flushed it down a toilet.

United apologized and offered Bell and his wife a credit for another flight.

A few scorpion species have a venomous sting but most have a sting comparable to that of a bee.

The earlier scorpion sighting happened on the same day Dr. David Dao was dragged off a flight at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, sparking international outrage. Dao and the airline reached a confidential financial settlement, his attorneys announced on April 27.

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