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Rogue rodent keeps US SAS flight grounded

Rebecca Martin · 11 Jan 2012, 14:56

Published: 11 Jan 2012 14:56 GMT+01:00

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”Staff spotted the mouse during the journey over from New York. We took the decision to ground the plane as soon as we heard,” SAS spokesperson Anders Lindström confirmed to The Local.

The Airbus landed at Arlanda at 8.15am and was scheduled to leave again by 10.40.

But by early afternoon the mischievous mouse was still taking the mickey out of its would-be captors and the plane could not be permitted to leave Sweden.

According to Lindström it isn't always easy to locate a stowaway mouse.

”We place traps inside the aircraft and then we shut it down completely. We need to leave it standing for a while so that the mouse can traipse about freely. Otherwise it ends up going into hiding,” Lindström said.

According to SAS, they have successfully managed to rebook all passengers into later flights. The infested aircraft, however, is going nowhere.

”We are working hard to try to find the mouse but until we have done, the plane is grounded,” said Lindström.

Although it isn't that uncommon for mice to sneak aboard aircraft, it is only the second time it has happened to SAS.

The first time was in August 2011 when some 200 passengers were left stranded in Stockholm for hours.

Despite SAS staff never capturing the cunning critter last summer, Lindström is confident this is not the same mouse. Where it originally boarded the flight is shrouded in mystery.

”We haven't been able to determine the mouse's nationality,” he said.

However, they are pretty sure it is a ”yank” jumping ship.

Story continues below…

”It probably got tired of the US,” Lindström told The Local.


On Wednesday evening an exasperated SAS finally sought Norwegian mousetrap expertise to snare the ticketless traveller.

An Oslo glue trap later snared the stowaway on Thursday morning, Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported, enabling the plane to depart for New York on schedule.

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:41 January 11, 2012 by Joshska
Well the thing is, these rodents can nip through wires in the plane...you know, the same wires that tell the plane to release landing gear or turn off autopilot :P
15:44 January 11, 2012 by John.Smith
He's probably here on a sambo-visa looking for his S.O. that disappeared last August.
16:03 January 11, 2012 by AEcinva
You're missing parts to this story. I was on the Newark to arlanda flight that was over an hour late in take off due to the mouse being in business class (mouse had good taste). They saw one mouse leave the airplane (supposedly). So if there was another more on the plane this morning after we landed..then it seems that SAS and arlanda need to invest in on board cats, and realize the mice probably are Swedish and that there might be an infestation...regardless, I'm happy to be in Sweden and not stuck in New Jersey....
19:31 January 11, 2012 by halvnilsson
If this was a 150 years ago, and we were talking about a US-bound ship from Malmo, my ancestors would have just eaten the damn things. How low we've come!
19:41 January 11, 2012 by zircon
Seeing how cute this mouse looks leaves me craving for it...
01:17 January 12, 2012 by philster61
Did he go through security? Was he finger printed upon arrival? Who does this mouse think it is? Next it will be asking for a visa....
02:21 January 12, 2012 by Sarahfaz
"It probably got tired of the US," haha. Even mice choosing to escape the "land of opportunity"
12:11 January 12, 2012 by L.Groeneweg
Rodents are a big safety problem for airplanes. They gnaw at cables, packaging material, insulating material and more. The presence of one rat or mouse in aeroplanes can have disastrous consequences. Various planes had to stay on the ground last year for a few hours or even days because of the presence of mice and rats.

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