- Getty/Joao Paulo Burini
- A woman was stung by a scorpion on board an Air Transat flight from Toronto to Calgary.
- She guessed the 4-inch-long critter had been on her lower back for about half an hour before it bit her.
- When a flight attendant went to look, she originally tried to tell the passenger it was just a gum wrapper.
- The woman was incredibly shaken up but fortunately not seriously injured.
A woman was stung by a scorpion on board an Air Transat flight from Toronto to Calgary last month.
The plane was in the final hour of its four-hour journey on February 26 when student Quin Maltais, who is from Canada’s Yukon territory but is studying in Alberta, started to feel a fluttering on her lower back.
She initially ignored it, assuming it was just the plane’s air conditioning.
However, a short while later, when the lights went down and the plane was preparing to land, she was suddenly struck by a “piercing” pain where the fluttering had been.
“Oh, my God, something bit me,” Maltais said, according to the CBC.
The young woman panicked, trying to grab her sweater without undoing her seatbelt, conscious of the fact that the plane was landing.
“The lights turned on, I looked into the ball of bundled sweater that I had but nothing was there,” Maltais said.
“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.”
She then undid her seatbelt and jumped out of her chair onto the armrest.
The creature was about 4 inches long, and Maltais said it must have been on her back for about half an hour.
When she alerted a flight attendant, she says she was told it was just a gum wrapper that she must have felt.
Maltais insisted the flight attendant go and look more closely, which is when the cabin crew realized there was indeed a scorpion between the seats.
The creature was captured and given to airport authorities after the plane landed, but the airline was unable to explain where it had come from.
“Although this is an extremely rare situation, it can unfortunately occur,” a spokesperson for Air Transat said in a statement issued to INSIDER.
“Our teams followed the protocols in place and a complete inspection of the aircraft, as well as an extermination process, were carried.”
Fortunately, Maltais was not seriously injured, but she was certainly shaken up.
“I had a full-fledged panic attack … paramedics had to kind of keep me strapped to a heart monitor for a while ’cause I was just unable to calm down,” she told the CBC.
However, Maltais says she’s not going to stop travelling – but will be sure to check under her seat next time.
INSIDER has reached out to Air Transat for more information about the incident.