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updated 6/30/2010 1:54:12 PM ET 2010-06-30T17:54:12

An Egyptian airport official says six Arabian horses owned by a Saudi Arabian prince became agitated in the cargo hold of a Saudi-bound plane, delaying take off for more than an hour.

The official said Wednesday an EgyptAir pilot was forced to turn the plane with 189 passengers around on the runaway because a commotion erupted in the hold. The pilot deemed the horses a safety risk.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The pilot called for the airport vet, who tranquilized the horses. After an 80-minute delay, the plane bound for the Saudi Red Sea port city of Jiddah took off. The horses were asleep.

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