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File photo of a Qantas 767 like that on which the rats were found this week Pat Roque/AP/Press Association Images

Rats on a plane: Qantas grounds flight after baby rodents found

The animals were discovered in a cupboard on the Boeing 767 minutes before it was due to take off in Australia.

A QANTAS PASSENGER jet had to be grounded when five baby rats were discovered in its cabin as it was due to take off from Sydney airport.

Cabin crew found the rats in a storage compartment during a routine inspection just fifteen minutes before the Boeing 767 aircraft was scheduled to leave for Brisbane on Tuesday. The rodents were in the cupboard that houses the plane’s emergency defibrillator kit, ABC News reports.

A Qantas spokesman said they were “baby rats” and added the airline was confident no adult rodents were on board. “We are currently investigating how they got into the aircraft,” she told reporters. Another spokesman added to The Australian that it was “not a common occurrence”.

The rats were taken off and killed. Engineers later inspected the plane and found no damage to its internal wiring. The aircraft was taken out of service but was due to fly again today.

Last year an Air Canada flight from Ottawa to London had to be cancelled after a passenger spotted a “giant” rat in one of the overhead lockers. The jet was evacuated but the rodent was never found, according to

And in March 2010 American Airlines passenger Alissa Kempler was informed that her flight from Miami was delayed because a “colony” of 50 cockroaches had been found living in a curtain in the first class area, she told WUSA TV.

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