Qantas, known as the world's safest airline, has confirmed that a crocodile recently escaped from its cage during a domestic flight.
According to the Fairfax media, Qantas and the cargo handling company Australian Air Express had launched an investigation into whether the crocodile's cage was loaded correctly onto the Brisbane-to-Melbourne flight.
The Australian newspaper reported that baggage handlers discovered the reptile while unloading luggage upon landing in Melbourne.
"The animal was quickly and safely secured when the aircraft arrived in Melbourne," a spokesman for the national carrier told Fairfax.
"The investigation is focusing on whether it had been loaded appropriately on delivery to Australian Air Express."
In June, Qantas grounded one of its planes in Sydney after flight attendants discovered a nest of baby rats in the cabin of the jet.
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Once considered the world's safest airline, Qantas has slipped in the rankings in recent years after a string of incidents — including A380 engine explosions, tire blowouts and landing gear malfunctions.
In fact, a 2011 aviation risk assessment saw it left of the list of top-10 safest airlines, according to Britain's Daily Mail.
However, Qantas is widely considered to be among the world's safest airlines in terms of fatalities.
And besides, the Qantas spokesman said, the crocodile "was not fully grown".
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