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Air Transat Passenger Stung By Scorpion Mid-Flight In ‘Extremely Rare Situation’

By Victoria M. Walker

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A woman on Canadian flight was stung by a scorpion shortly before landing.

The incident, which occurred on Feb. 26, was on an Air Transat flight from Toronto to Calgary.

“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,” the woman, Quin Maltais, told the CBC.

“The lights turned on, I looked into the ball of bundled sweater that I had but nothing was there,” she continued. “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 she told a flight attendant what happened, but said the woman dismissed her, blaming the sting on a gum wrapper. After insisting that the flight attendant check between the seats, Maltais said she spotted the scorpion.

She was escorted off the plane by paramedics and told the CBC that she suffered a panic attack after the sting. “Paramedics had to kind of keep me strapped to a heart monitor for a while cause I was just unable to calm down,” she said.

The airline told the CBC in a statement that an “extermination process” was carried out on the airplane and that the scorpion had been captured.

“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,” Air Transat told the CBC.

Maltais said the experience won’t discourage her from flying but said she will “definitely check under my seat.”

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Victoria M. Walker

Victoria M. Walker is an award-winning multimedia journalist and full-time lecturer in the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film at her alma mater, Howard University. She was previously the breaking news and viral content video editor at The Washington Post.

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