An AirAsia passenger plane was forced to divert and make an unscheduled landing after a snake was spotted slithering through the overhead lights, the Malaysian budget carrier confirmed Monday.
In a viral video social media users were quick to link with Samuel L. Jackson cult classic “Snakes on a Plane”, the creature’s silhouette could be seen wriggling in the cabin’s light fittings.
The incident, which the airline described as “very rare”, took place last week aboard a flight from the capital Kuala Lumpur to Tawau, on the eastern coast of Borneo island.
After the captain found out about the snake, he took “appropriate action” and landed in the city of Kuching — 900 kilometres (560 miles) west of Tawau — so the plane could be fumigated, AirAsia said.
The passengers then boarded another flight to continue their journey.
“At no time was the safety of guests or crew at any risk,” AirAsia chief safety officer Liong Tien Ling said in a statement.
Social media users joked the incident was all-too-reminiscent of the 2006 action film that featured Jackson as an FBI agent trapped on a jet filled with venomous serpents.
“Snakes on a plane is real!!” one user posted.
Another commented on Facebook: “One of my worst nightmares. Too scary for me.”