Tarantula Delays Flight: Escaped Spider Scares Crew Members, Grounds Plane

A tarantula delays a flight and the incident is now topping headlines across the nation. News that a huge spider was on the loose gave crew members aboard the Atlanta-bound Delta Air Lines flight at Baltimore/Washington International Airport quite the scare. As reported by USA Today, when flight crew members discovered that a large, baboon tarantula had escaped and was loose on the plane, the decision was made to get another plane.

According to CNN, Delta Flight 1525 was scheduled to depart Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport at 7 p.m. However, the flight was delayed before passengers boarded after an employee spotted the tarantula in the cargo hold.

“There was a cargo shipment of insects that was breached,” Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant explained.

There was, according to flight personnel, a small chance that there were more escaped insects.

“They were able to capture it, and they contacted the handler,” Delta spokesman Brian Kruse told the Baltimore Sun.

Reportedly, the handler confirmed that it was the only spider in the cage and Kruse noted that the spider was confined to the cargo hold and never entered the cabin. As a precaution, the pilot and the cabin crew decided that it was not safe to fly. Eventually, the passengers were able to leave three hours later on another flight. The plane remained grounded until it was completely searched.

“Safety and security are our top priority,” Kruse added.

It’s not everyday that you hear of a flight being delayed because of an escaped tarantula, and fortunately the passengers who were to board the plane avoided a potentially terrifying encounter with the eight-legged creature.

The type of tarantula aboard the plane was said to be a baboon tarantula, which is also known as a King baboon spider. Although the spider has a very strong venom, a bite from a King baboon spider is not deadly or dangerous to humans and in terms of pain, it is comparable to a wasp sting. However, it can cause severe allergic reactions.

Pets 4 Homes wrote that the baboon tarantula is known for having a significant propensity to bite with little provocation. Its venom is also stronger than that of most other tarantulas and can deliver a range of nasty side effects. While no one has ever died from the bite of a King Baboon Spider, bites to humans often produce severe pain and swelling within the localized area that can take several days to subside, and may be accompanied by muscle cramps and spasms.

[Image courtesy of Wikipedia]