Croc breaks loose on flight

Small specimen escaped from container

An Australian baggage handler had a nasty surprise when he opened the cargo door of a Qantas passenger flight to find a crocodile roaming loose in the hold, the airline said Monday.

The reptile, reported to be a relatively small specimen, escaped its transport container during a flight from Brisbane to Melbourne last week, a Qantas spokesman told AFP.

"The animal was quickly and safely secured when the aircraft arrived in Melbourne," the spokesman added.

The crocodile was being transported as freight by cargo firm Australian Air Express. Qantas said it was investigating whether the animal had been in the right container and properly loaded.

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