An Air India flight from New Delhi to Calcutta had to be grounded, after "scores of rats" were seen running wild on the aircraft. The plane had to be removed from service, and fumigated to kill the rats.
An anonymous Air India official said, "Rats on board an aircraft can lead to a catastrophe if they start chewing up electric wires. If that happens, pilots will have no control on any system on board leading to a disaster." The source also told Agence France-Presse that rats are common on planes worldwide. "They follow the catering vans into the plane when they smell the food."
Air India A320 image by Steven Byles on Flickr (CC Commercial License)
There has been no word on whether they later dismantled the cabin to remove the dead rodents. Rats also reportedly delayed an Air India flight this February, and in 2009, Air India had a flight delayed for 11 hours as staff worked to catch rats on a plane in Toronto.
Top image by Jean-Jacques Boujot on Flickr (CC Commercial License)