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article imageStudent stung by scorpion on-board aircraft to Calgary

By Tim Sandle     Mar 11, 2019 in Travel
Calgary - A female student on board an Air Transat flight from Toronto to Calgary was sitting comfortably until she stung by a scorpion shortly. moments before the plane landed.
The student, Quin Maltais from Yukon and studying in Alberta, was on the last hour of her four hour flight and starting to think about her next activities when she began to sense a fluttering motion, like something was moving across her lower back. For a while, she ignored the sensation.
The feel of something moving continue sporadically until the cabin lights were dimmed in preparation for landing. At this point, she was startled with a feeling of intense pain. As she explained to CBC News: "As soon as the lights turned off again, closer to when we're literally about to land, I felt the piercing pain on my lower back, like, oh, my God, something bit me."
In pain, Quin Maltais climbed out of her seat and searched around to see if something had bitten her. After shaking out her sweater she noticed something in the fold of her seat. On closer inspection, the object was revealed to be a scorpion, four inches long, and it had somehow been residing in her clothing.
Air Transat would have offered three direct winter flights weekly from two major Canadian cities to ...
Air Transat would have offered three direct winter flights weekly from two major Canadian cities to Nicaragua
Daniel SLIM, AFP/File
The commotion caused a flight attendant to come over. The attendant initially mistook the scorpion for a gum wrapper, until the steward realized that there was indeed a scorpion in the aircraft seat. The scorpion was later captured when the aircraft landed.
When the plane landed, Maltais was whisked to a emergency medical center. The check-up revealed that she was fine and had suffered no harm directly from the predatory arachnid, although she was suffering from shock. Most scorpion stings are painful but not harmful. However, people with a history of severe allergic reactions to insect bites or stings need to use an epinephrine autoinjector (EpiPen).
As yet, no reason has been provided by the airline - Air Transat - how the scorpion came to be on the aircraft. In Canada, the northern scorpion is found only in the very dry and hot valleys of BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan. This is not a 'true' scorpion (but closely related and it can sting); whether this was the type of 'scorpion' involved or whether a different scorpion had found its way onto the aircraft is uncertain.
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