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Rat on a plane forces Seattle flight cancellation

SEATTLE (Reuters) - An Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to Denver was canceled shortly before take-off when a rat was spotted on board, the airline said on Friday.

Alaska Airlines Flight 676 had just pulled away from the departure gate at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport when the scurrying rat was seen, prompting the plane's crew to return to the gate, spokeswoman Bobbie Egan for the airline.

After the incident, which happened on Thursday at about 7:40 a.m., passengers were put on another flight to Denver.

The airline is still investigating how the rodent managed to sneak aboard the aircraft.

"We took the plane out of service, and will not put it back on rotation until it is deemed rodent-free by a professional exterminator," Egan said.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Dan Whitcomb)