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Snake on a plane forces emergency landing in Egypt

07:00 Thu Dec 6 2012
By MSN NZ staff

A commercial plane has been forced to make an emergency landing in Egypt after a passenger was bitten by a cobra.

The Egypt Air plane was flying from Cairo to Kuwait on Monday when the Akram Abdul Latif, who owns a reptile shop in Kuwait, was bitten by the Egyptian cobra had hidden in a carry-on bag.

The 48-year-old man was unable to control the snake after it bit his hand and started slithering under the seats, causing a stir among terrified passengers, the Jordan Times reports.

The incident forced the pilot to make an emergency landing in the resort town of Al Ghardaqa on the Red Sea.

Doctors told the passenger he should spend 24 hours in a hospital for observation but he refused medical treatment, claiming his wound was only superficial.

The plane resumed its flight to Kuwait after local authorities confiscated the cobra.

The venom of an Egyptian cobra 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, CNN reports.