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Last Updated: Friday, 1 October, 2004, 20:13 GMT 21:13 UK
Deadly spider found in car engine
Black widow spider
The Black Widow spider is found in several states in America
A lorry driver found a potentially deadly spider in the engine of a car he had recently imported from America.

Barry Ashdown, 59, of Barling near Southend in Essex, was checking the engine of his 1960 Deville Cadillac when he spotted a black widow spider.

He trapped it in a jam jar and took it to the Dangerous Wild Animal Rescue Facility in Great Wakering.

Iain Newby, from the centre, said the spider is venomous and a bite could cause someone to be unwell for weeks.

"I understand the car had been sitting in a field in Texas for two years so in a way it's lucky there was nothing else in there," he said.

"The spider is venomous and potentially deadly. If he had been bitten it's likely he would have been unwell for some weeks."

Mr Newby said he had passed the female spider, which is usually found in Nevada, on to a specialist private collector.

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