Sep 28, 2005

Eek! It's a terrorist!

MANILA, Philippines (Reuters) -- A mouse upset the best-laid plans of an airline and nearly 250 passengers in the Philippines, grounding a plane for 13 hours while engineers tried to smoke out the rodent.

The Qatar Airways plane was preparing for take-off from Manila airport earlier this week when a crew member spotted the mouse scampering across an aisle in the economy class section, the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted airport officials as saying.

The captain ordered the passengers to disembark while maintenance staff fumigated the aircraft and laid traps, but the mouse was nowhere to be found.

The Doha-bound aircraft eventually took off 13 hours late, presumably with the mouse still on board, dead or alive.

"There was an incident before with a cockroach, but it's the first time that we had to deal with a mouse," the Inquirer quoted airport operations chief Octavio Lina as saying.

Copyright 2005 Reuters. All rights reserved.

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