The Air India twinjet took off from Nagpur at 21:14. However, before landing in Mumbai at 22:21, a woman on board was met with a fright. The flag carrier of India has since confirmed that she was treated and is no longer in danger.
On the ground, the airline's engineering personnel launched an inspection of the narrowbody. The company affirmed that it followed protocol and discovered the scorpion before the aircraft was fumigated. Air India added that it regrets the agony and inconvenience that the passenger experienced.
A word from the airline
According to ANI News, a spokesperson for Air India shared the following about the occurrence:
"There was an extremely rare and unfortunate incident involving a scorpion stinging a passenger on board our flight AI 630 on April 23, 2023. On landing the said passenger was attended by the doctor at the airport and subsequently was treated at the hospital and discharged. Our officials accompanied the passenger to the hospital and offered all support to the passenger till discharge.”
Notably, this report comes days after the airline reminded pilots to ensure a sterile flight deck. The move follows a violation on a Delhi-Dubai flight that saw a pilot's friend enter the cockpit.
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Across the industry
This isn't the first scorpion sting on a commercial carrier in recent years. In December 2019, a woman was stung on a United Airlines Boeing 737-800 flying between Atlanta and San Francisco. The passenger felt a stinging sensation on her leg on UA1554 before realizing that a scorpion had done the damage.
In January 2021, a GOL passenger was flying from Campinas to Fortaleza on a 737-800 when he experienced a shock. He felt something on his shoulder, but as he went to brush it away, he felt a sting on his fingers. Alas, a stowaway scorpion had been released. Subsequently, the flight attendants monitored the passenger until medics arrived at the airport.
There was another scorpion-related incident this February when flight attendants were on the search for one on the loose on a flight between Austin and London Heathrow. Like Air India, British Airways highlighted that it was an unusual event.
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Altogether, while scorpion stings are painful, they aren't usually life-threatening. According to the Cleveland Clinic, less than 5% of the stings need medical attention. There are 1,500 scorpion species on Earth. However, around 30 have stings that can cause danger to people.
Around 1.5 million scorpion stings happen each year. Still, amid all the security, sanitary, and station checks across the air travel spectrum, it would be a surprise to see a scorpion in a confined space such as an aircraft cabin!
What are your thoughts about the incident on this Air India Airbus A319? What do you make of the overall situation? Let us know what you think in the comment section.
Source: ANI News