American Airlines grounds plane after scorpion hitches a ride

Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis).
Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis). Arizona Department of Health Services

A scorpion on board a plane caused the cancellation of an American Airlines flight at Sacramento International Airport on Sunday morning, according to airline officials.

More than 100 passengers were told of the scorpion as they lined up at the gate for the 10:40 a.m. flight, said Jim Zuber, a passenger on the flight. The flight crew was trying to decide what to do, he said.

The Boeing 737 had been in Phoenix the night before, said American Airlines spokeswoman Leslie Scott.

“The flight was canceled because we want passengers and crews to feel comfortable,” she said.

According to the Mayo Clinic, scorpion stings hurt but are rarely life-threatening. Most stings do not require treatment among adults, but children are at risk for complications.

It is unknown if the scorpion is still on board so the plane will go to a maintenance facility in the Dallas Fort Worth area to be fumigated, Scott said.

Molly Sullivan: 916-321-1176, @SullivanMollyM