Cookie consent

We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies. Tell me more | Cookie preferences

Snake on a plane forces emergency landing

An Egyptian cobra like this one escaped from a carry-on bag on an Egypt Air flight from Cairo to Kuwait.

Story highlights

  • A reptile shop owner smuggled an Egyptian cobra in his carry-on for an Egypt Air flight
  • The snake's escape forced an emergency landing, where it was removed
  • The snake bit its owner, but the man refused medical attention, saying bite was superficial

Ninety passengers aboard an Egypt Air flight from Cairo to Kuwait could have used actor Samuel L. Jackson this week after a snake reportedly bit a Jordanian man who smuggled the reptile onboard.

Jackson's character in the movie "Snakes on a Plane" tries to figure out how to save the aircraft after crates of hyped-up serpents started killing the cast.

There wasn't quite that kind of drama on Monday, but the incident forced the pilot to make an emergency landing in the Egyptian resort town of Al Ghardaqa on the Red Sea, according to The Jordan Times.

An Egypt Air official told the paper an investigation revealed that the 48-year-old passenger, who owns a reptile shop in Kuwait, had hidden the Egyptian cobra in a carry-on bag. The passenger was trying to control the snake after it bit his hand and started slithering under the seats.

    Just Watched

    Teen using phone walks into snake pit

Teen using phone walks into snake pit 00:32
PLAY VIDEO

    Just Watched

    'Creepy' snake has head at both ends

'Creepy' snake has head at both ends 01:15
PLAY VIDEO

    Just Watched

    Staying safe around snakes

Staying safe around snakes 01:25
PLAY VIDEO

The Egyptian daily al-Masry al-Youm reported that the man refused medical treatment, claiming his wound was only superficial. The plane resumed its flight to Kuwait after local authorities confiscated the snake.

Doctors told the passenger he should spend 24 hours in a hospital for observation, but the man refused, the Egyptian Air official said, according to The Jordan Times.

    Egyptian cobras are commonly found across North Africa.

    According to wildlife experts, the cobra's venom is so deadly it can kill a full-grown elephant in three hours or a person in about 15 minutes. The venom destroys nerve tissue and causes paralysis and death because of respiratory failure.

    Legend has it that in ancient times, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra used an Egyptian cobra -- also known as an asp -- to commit suicide.

      CNN Recommends

    • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

      As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
    • Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
    • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

      Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
    • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

      It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.