22 July 2009

Teen misses flight home after scorpion sting at Sky Harbor

PHOENIX -- A scorpion at Sky Harbor Airport delayed a teen's trip home from vacation on Tuesday.

Cris Belfer, 19, said he had just hugged his friends outside the security checkpoint in Phoenix, and made his way into the secure area, when he felt a stinging sensation on his neck."It felt almost like somebody stuck a needle in you for a second and pulled it out," said Belfer.

The New Jersey resident quickly looked down and noticed a scorpion on his shoulder."I brushed it off and then stepped on it and killed it," said Belfer.The Phoenix visitor said he thought he would be okay and decided to proceed through the security checkpoint. But that quickly changed.Once through the checkpoint and at his gate, he began to feel the effects of the poison from the sting."I thought I would be fine, but I started feeling weird, kind of crazy," said Belfer.

He then called his friends who had dropped him off at the airport and Belfer went to an information booth."They were really nice and we called poison control, after talking to them, we decided to go to the hospital," said Belfer.

The 19-year-old was treated at St. Joseph's Hospital."I was there for about six hours,” said Belfer. “It was only precautionary because it was in my neck, so close to my head.”It's not clear if the scorpion fell from the ceiling inside the terminal or if another passenger carried it in.It's the second case of a passenger flying out of Sky Harbor to be stung by a scorpion.

MORE: Yikes: Gilbert man stung on airplane by 1 of 6 scorpions Earlier this week, a Gilbert resident was stung mid-flight on Southwest Airlines from a scorpion that's believed to have been inside his carry-on luggage.According to an airport spokesperson, the facility has weekly pest control service and cannot recall the last time a passenger was stung by a scorpion.

As for Belfer, Continental Airlines re-booked him on a flight home to New Jersey Tuesday afternoon."I have no hard feelings against Phoenix, I love Arizona, the whole thing was just crazy," said Belfer.

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