Updated: 09/23/2013 16:33 | By Agence France-Presse

Snake on plane grounds Qantas flight

A tiny snake as slender as a pen forced the grounding of a Japan-bound Qantas flight in the Australian city of Sydney overnight, stranding hundreds of passengers.


Snake on plane grounds Qantas flight

A tiny snake as slender as a pen forced the grounding of a Japan-bound Qantas flight in the Australian city of Sydney overnight, stranding hundreds of passengers.

The non-venomous reptile, about eight inches (20 centimetres) long, was found near the doorway of a Boeing 747-400 bound for Tokyo on Sunday night, a Qantas spokeswoman told AFP.

"The snake was taken to quarantine to determine where it came from," she said.

The plane had been on the tarmac in Sydney for most of Sunday after completing a flight from Singapore, and the snake was found by air crew before any passengers boarded.

It was uncertain where the reptile had come from but the Department of Agriculture has identified it as a Mandarin ratsnake which is mainly found in Asia.

All 370 passengers were booked into hotels overnight and a replacement flight left Sydney on Monday morning.

It was the second snake incident for Qantas this year. A three-metre (nine foot) python hitched a ride from the tropical Australian city of Cairns to Papua New Guinea's Port Moresby in January.

The python had been tucked into the plane's wing before takeoff, and amazed passengers watched from the window as it engaged in a life-or-death struggle to maintain its grip in fierce winds and zero temperatures.

It was still on the aircraft when it landed in PNG but had died during the journey.

A freight pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in northern Australia in April 2012 after a snake slithered from the dashboard of his plane.

Australia is home to 20 of the world's 25 most venomous snakes, including the entire top ten, according to the University of Melbourne's Australia Venom Research Unit.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。