Scorpion stings airplane passenger before takeoff

Calif. medics check woman who declines additional treatment; needle was stuck in her hand

BY Tony Barboza
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — An Alaska Airlines jetliner had to turn back to the gate before takeoff Saturday at Los Angeles International Airport after a scorpion stung a woman on the hand, officials said.

Flight 567 to Portland, Ore., was taxiing to the runway for a 7:50 p.m. departure when the passenger was stung, said Cole Cosgrove, a spokeswoman for Alaska Airlines.

The plane returned to the gate and medics checked the woman. She declined additional medical treatment but did not stay on the flight, Cosgrove said.

The woman had brushed the scorpion off of her before  stepping on it. Employees searched the plane and checked the overhead bins but did not find other scorpions, Cosgrove said.

Among the 139 passengers were players and coaches for the Oregon State University men’s basketball team, who tweeted about the scorpion. Coach Wayne Tinkle told ESPN that he sat two rows behind the passenger who was stung.

"The woman was a real champ,” Tinkle said. “She acted like it was a mosquito bite. They got it off her but the needle was stuck.

The airline doesn’t know where the scorpion came from, but Cosgrove noted that the flight originated in Los Cabos, Mexico.

After a 50-minute delay the plane took off at 8:40 p.m. and arrived in Portland without further incident, Cosgrove said.

©2015 the Los Angeles Times

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