Columbus-Bound Flight Delayed By Otters


UPDATED: Thursday December 24, 2009 6:51 AM

A Continental Airlines flight from Houston to Columbus was delayed for more than an hour Tuesday night after otters making the trip in the plane's cargo hold escaped their cages and made a break for freedom.

The otters were apparently being unloaded from the plane in Houston when they managed to get loose.

"People thought it was a joke at first, I think," a passenger said.

Another passenger said an otter made its way out of the cargo hold and onto the Houston airport's tarmac.

"We watched them take them off the plane in a box and the next thing we know one of the otters got loose and took off across the tarmac," the passenger said.

Airport personnel managed to catch each of the otters and return them to their cages.  Flight 1492 departed Houston a little more than an hour later and arrived safely at Port Columbus.

Some of the passengers picking up bags in Columbus discovered that the animals had gotten into their luggage.

A man who had coffee in his suitcase found his bag open and covered in what appeared to be hay.

"Some otters got into them," he said.  "They must have smelled the coffee."

Most of the flight's passengers were in good spirits and took the situation in stride.

"Other than sitting on the tarmac for an hour being 'otterly' ridiculous, the flight was uneventful," a passenger said.

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