The cobra broke loose on the plane after being smuggled aboard by 48-year-old Jordanian passenger Akram Abdul Latif, who owns a shop in Kuwait selling reptiles as pets.
Latif had attempted to smuggle the snake through airport security in his carry-on bag. Apparently, the attempt was successful until the snake got free on the plane, the Jordan Times reports.
Once the cobra escaped from Latif’s bag, the reptile shop owner attempted to wrestle with the snake and force it back in his bag. Unfortunately for Latif, the cobra bit him and fled underneath his seat.
No other passengers were injured in the snake attack, but several reported seeing the cobra pass underneath their seats.
After the other passengers reported the snake on the plane, the Egypt Air flight immediately made plans for an emergency landing in the resort town of Al Ghardaqa, located on the Red Sea. The town is away from Cairo, where the flight originated.
At Al Ghardaqa, Latif was rushed to a hospital, but he refused treatment, stating the cobra bite was only a minor injury. For reference, the New York Daily News notes that “Experts say that in some cases the cobra's venom can kill a man in under 15 minutes as it destroys nerve tissue and causes paralysis and death because of respiratory failure.”
Apparently, Latif insisted on taking the snake with him to the hospital and later on to Kuwait once he was released.
“He was bitten in his hand and after we administered first aid he insisted on taking the snake with him to Kuwait,” an Egypt Air official told the Jordan Times.
Once Latif and the cobra were safely off the plane, the flight, with 90 passengers, continued on to Kuwait without further trouble.
Samuel L. Jackson was not available for comment on the incident.