An unexpected passenger, a bear, became the reason for an hour-long delay of an international flight on Friday as it managed to escape from its crate in the cargo hold of an Iraqi Airways plane bound for Baghdad.
The incident led to passengers being asked to disembark while a specialist team in Dubai sedated the bear and safely removed it from the plane. The furry intruder caused significant disruption, prompting the airline to issue an apology to passengers for the unexpected delay.
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In a statement issued on Saturday, Iraqi Airways explained that the bear had escaped the crate “upon arrival at Dubai Airport.” The airline assured that the animal’s transportation was in accordance with international animal welfare guidelines.
However, details about why the bear was being relocated or its whereabouts after it was removed from the plane were not disclosed by the airline. Similarly, the Dubai International Airport did not provide any comments on the matter.
Interestingly, it was later revealed that there were, in fact, two bears on board the flight, adding to the curiosity surrounding the unusual incident. The incident even garnered the attention of Iraq’s Prime Minister, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, who directed the country’s Ministry of Transport to open an investigation into the bear’s escape.
While the bear’s escapade caused a momentary disruption, it captured the attention of many and served as a reminder that even on international flights, unexpected occurrences can make headlines.