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Last Updated: Thursday April 16 2009 11:49 GMT

Snakes escape during plane flight

A python

It sounds like something that could never happen, but four baby snakes actually escaped from their container on a plane.

The 15cm long snakes were among 12 being flown across Australia.

The reptiles were discovered missing after the plane landed in Melbourne and it was first thought they were eaten by the other snakes.

But ground staff soon realised the snakes had escaped and passengers were moved to another aircraft.

An airline spokesman said: "They're not endangered so a decision was made to fumigate. If these snakes turn up they will be very much dead snakes."

The baby pythons, which can grow up to a metre long, were being transported in the cargo hold of the aircraft in a bag inside a plastic foam box with air holes.