STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Snake grounds jet with 370 passengers in Sydney

Published: 24th September 2013 04:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th September 2013 04:52 PM   |  A+A-

Snake_AP

A tiny Asian snake was found on a Qantas Boeing 747 airliner in Australia, leading to 370 passengers being grounded overnight.

Staff found the 20-centimeter (8-inch) Mandarin rat snake in the passenger cabin near the door late Sunday before passengers were due to board the flight bound for Tokyo from Sydney International Airport, Qantas said in a statement Monday.

Australia's flagship airline said passengers were given hotel rooms and left Sydney on a replacement plane Monday morning. Qantas said the original jet would be fumigated before returning to service in case there were other snakes on board.

The snake was taken by quarantine officials for analysis.

The Agriculture Department said the snake, a species that grows to an average 1.2 meters (4 feet), had been euthanized, "as exotic reptiles of this kind can harbor pests and diseases not present in Australia."

The department said the snake had arrived aboard the jet in a flight a day earlier from Singapore.

"The Department of Agriculture is looking into how the snake came to be on the plane, but isn't able to speculate at this time," it said in a statement.

The mildly venomous Asian snake was about the width of a pencil and did not pose a threat to humans, but it had the potential to cause ecological havoc in the Australian environment if it had escaped the plane with a mate, Canberra Reptile Zoo herpetologist Peter Child said.

While snakes rarely pose aviation hazards, a 3-meter (10-foot) python in January clung to the wing of a Qantas flight from northeast Australia to Papua New Guinea. The python died during the flight but was still attached to the wing when the two-hour flight ended.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp