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Flight to Sabah diverted after snake spotted in overhead compartment

CNA – An AirAsia flight from Kuala Lumpur to Tawau, Sabah on Thursday was diverted after a snake was seen in one of its overhead compartments.

AirAsia said that as soon as the flight’s captain was aware of the incident, he made the decision to divert the aircraft to Kuching, Sarawak.

This was done as a precautionary measure to fumigate the aircraft, said the airline when asked by CNA about whether there was a flight diversion due to a snake being sighted on the plane.

Video clips of the shadow of a snake inside one of the plane’s overhead compartments had been circulating on social media.

“This is a very rare incident which can occur on any aircraft from time to time,” said AirAsia’s Chief Safety Officer Captain Liong Tien Ling in an e-mailed statement to CNA yesterday.

“The captain took the appropriate action,” said Captain Liong, adding that the safety and well-being of their guests and crew was always their top priority.

“At no time was the safety of guests or crew at any risk,” he said.

The plane departed Kuching for Tawau on Thursday.

Screenshots show a snake on board an AirAsia flight. PHOTO: THE STAR