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Mouse stops US-bound SAS flight in Stockholm

Caroline Bursell · 16 Aug 2011, 16:54

Published: 16 Aug 2011 16:54 GMT+02:00

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Shortly before the scheduled 10.30am take off of the Chicago-bound Airbus 330, a security guard spotted the mischievous mouse scurrying across the floor of the aircraft.

“Unfortunately the mouse has not been found and caught, despite an extensive search onboard and numerous mouse traps placed inside the aircraft,” SAS press officer Malin Selander told The Local on Tuesday afternoon.

“Due to safety concerns SAS has decided to ground the aircraft until the mouse has been caught.”

Airport officials may resort to using smoke to force the mouse out of the plane, for fear that it will get into the electronics and gnaw them apart, a witness told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

However, Selander told The Local that a decision about deploying extra measures to remove the mouse from the aircraft has yet to be taken.

As the search for the meandering mouse continues, the airline is struggling to rebook the 250 passengers left stranded due to the incident.

American travellers James Roach and Marie Alswager told The Local they have been waiting more than five hours in a line that is moving “six feet an hour”.

“Spirits [among stranded travellers] are understanding,” said Roach.

As the Airbus 330 is among the largest aircraft in the SAS fleet, finding a replacement has been difficult.

“This kind of incident has not happened to SAS before, but we are now aware that similar incidents have happened to other airlines,” said Selander.

A rodent running amok was the cause of the cancellation of two Delta Airline flights between New York and London in November 2009.

Although the current situation at Arlanda remained unresolved several hours after the mouse was discovered, Selander stated the airline sees no need for revising future safety measures.

Story continues below…

“SAS already have an extremely high level of security precautions and checks, and do not foresee the need to improve these further,” she said.

Struggling to cope with the slow-moving line for re-booking, Roach employed a bit of hyperbole in an effort to make light of his predicament.

“This is the most expensive mouse in the history of humankind,” he joked.

Caroline Bursell (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:45 August 16, 2011 by Monitor Lizard
Mice on a Plane!
18:00 August 16, 2011 by KungsholmenGuy
Does SAS not have a security cat?
18:05 August 16, 2011 by Rap43
On a flight between Calgary and Frankfurt about 10 years ago, I was awakened mid-Atlantic by the mooing of a cow... A bull I was informed by the flight attendant. It was off to help England repopulate after the mad cow problem.

I would assume it paid full fare, unlike the stowaway mouse... either that, or, he refused to pay for his cheese and cracker...

A freeloading, stowaway mouse is easily enough to stop a flight in SASs view I am sure.
18:33 August 16, 2011 by Smokebox
Great. I am leaving Arlanda on Sunday. I hope the mouse is caught by then.
18:34 August 16, 2011 by Iraniboy
What's the problem? I guess it is because all passengers should report to TSA 72 hours before any departure to the US. Obviously this mouse hasn't done that :D
18:43 August 16, 2011 by andyron2
Im going to travel by SAS in few days and will intimate thelocal(the new news of the world),if any interesting incident takes place.yes,im carrying change for water n food.
19:27 August 16, 2011 by bells on the knight
danger mouse - lol
19:30 August 16, 2011 by conboy
Was it a Swedish mouse or an immigrant mouse I ask only because obviously the teeth on Swedish mice are much sharper than the teeth on other mice!
19:32 August 16, 2011 by jacquelinee
He is kind of cute though :-)
21:10 August 16, 2011 by Soft Boiled
Rats used to travel across oceans on old sailing ships, mice now travel by plane... what this means for the future is quite obvious.....Gerbils in Space!
21:28 August 16, 2011 by insect
And they had to find a passenger with the name Roach to interview
22:13 August 16, 2011 by jacquelinee
@Soft Boiled and @ insect

23:19 August 16, 2011 by MarkinBoston
Did the mouse have to take off his shoes before he got on the plane?
23:29 August 16, 2011 by dammen
I can lend them one or two of my cats - they would soon flush it out
00:02 August 17, 2011 by Tysknaden
Wasn't any hedgehog willing, to do this job?
06:50 August 17, 2011 by Skipdallas
All Jokes aside: and some are funny, Mice, rats and other rodents are known to have caused catastrophic failures in electrical systems by chewing through electric lines. Would you care to be remembered as a casuality of a plane crash caused by a mouse? I thought not. "Fly the (vermin free) Friendly Skies".
08:28 August 17, 2011 by RobinHood
In 1942, loyal communist mice of the Soviet Union disabled the entire German 22 Panzer Division by chewing up the electric cables in the tanks. It took weeks to get them going again. I kid you not.
08:31 August 17, 2011 by karex
@soft boiled and insect: LOL!

@KungsholmenGuy: also LOL, but you know, your comment reminded me of a series of hilarious maintenance reports I read once from Qantas Airlines: crews fill out a maintenance form exlaining what the problem is when they find it, then the maintenance crews take over and report the solution at the end of the report before the aircraft can be released for operation again.

One such report started:

"Mouse in Cockpit"

Maintenance crew solution:

"Cat installed"...
09:00 August 17, 2011 by bells on the knight
i heard that cathay had a pussy in the cockpit - lol
10:57 August 17, 2011 by KungsholmenGuy
@ Skipdallas

Good point. In some cases crashes of large aircraft may have been due in part to creatures that are smaller than mice, namely wasps, for example:


And in some cases allegedly due to no mice or insects at all, if we believe that the plastic electrical sheeting around electrical wires simply degrades over time, which was one hypothesis considered for the cause of the crashes of Swissair flight 111 and TWA flight 800 for example.
12:03 August 17, 2011 by Åskar
So much for the US immigration laws.
14:43 August 17, 2011 by Borilla
If it was Ryan thye would have flown anyway and just charged passengers extra for the mouse.
19:20 August 17, 2011 by 99freddy24
Has nobody heard of "How to catch a mouse" Many years ago I had trouble with my cats bringing in mices to play with. My friend said, mices love chocolate. So I bought a "humane" mouse trap. Scraped a very small, my chocholate is important to me, amount of it into the trap. I don't think more than five minutes ever went by before the mouse was in the trap. Only one thing was unhappy at this was my cat.
23:57 August 18, 2011 by bells on the knight
Lindt chocolate 85% dark?
10:13 August 19, 2011 by KungsholmenGuy
The mouse was recently seen in England, and is fighting his extradiction back to Sweden on a European arrest warrant.
10:30 August 20, 2011 by forsdavg
So do all airlines now have a policy for stowaway mice?

Do the cabin crew:

a) Start a search & rescue operation if a mouse is spotted.

b) If it isn't found, evacuate the aircraft and find alternative flights for everybody.

c) Ground the aircraft until it is found.

Or do they, as I suspect they may, after this weeks rather expensive circus, tell the eagle eyed passenger

"The mouse has been found and is currently being assisted back through immigration by a suitably qualified animal support officer so please buckle up as we'll be taking off very shortly".

The door has now been left well and truly open for not only mice but anyone wanting to disrupt a flight without recrimination. Who can prove you didn't see a mouse!
17:24 August 21, 2011 by jacquelinee
I still think he is cute.
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