A Delta plane was grounded overnight in Baltimore when a tarantula escaped from its container in the cargo hold and was spotted by baggage handlers.
Delta spokesman Brian Kruse said Atlanta-bound Flight 1525 was scheduled to take off from Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport at 7 p.m. Wednesday, but the pilot decided to ground the plane after baggage handlers discovered the loose arachnid in the cargo hold.
Kruse said the pilot wanted to ensure the baboon tarantula was the only one loose on the plane.
“They were able to capture it, and they contacted the handler” to ensure there hadn’t been any other tarantulas in the same cage, Kruse told the Baltimore Sun.
“We have to make the safe decision on that — being bitten by a tarantula is not a good thing,” CNN quoted the pilot as saying.
The passengers were moved to another aircraft, which departed about three hours behind schedule.
A passenger told WRDW-TV a flight crew member told him there were a total 750 tarantulas on board the plane and most of them had gotten loose, but Kruse said only the one spider was ever free and it never left the cargo hold.