Scorpion stings passenger, delays flight from Los Angeles to Portland

An airline spokesman says it’s unclear how the scorpion got on the plane. Above, an Emperor scorpion at Brocketts Film Fauna in Thousand Oaks.
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

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 spokesman for Alaska Airlines.

Feb. 16, 10:29 a.m.: An earlier version of this article identified Cole Cosgrove as a spokeswoman for Alaska Airlines. He is a spokesman for the airline.

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.

Twitter: @tonybarboza


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