WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — A man’s leg burst open after he was bitten by a venomous spider, requiring three operations and a skin graft.

Jonathan Hogg says his leg “resembled something from a horror film” after a brown spider attacked him, as reported by Sky News. Doctors say the venom began eating away at the 40-year-old’s flesh within hours and that he could have lost his leg if it was left untreated.

“The pain was like nothing I’ve been through in my life. By the time I got to hospital my leg was bursting open, there was pus, it was black,” Hogg told Sky News.

Hogg believes the bite happened while he was traveling from Doha to South Africa on a Qatar Airways flight. He is taking legal action against the airline claiming it has refused to take responsibility for the incident. Qatar Airways offers several international destinations from major cities like New York, Boston, and Washington.

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“I was struggling to get comfortable during the journey and crossed my legs to get into a better position when I felt a small, sharp pain radiating in my left leg,” Hogg told Sky News. “I turned on the light and clearly saw a spider running across the floor before hearing two stewardesses screaming ‘Spider’, but I wasn’t sure if I had been bitten as it really wasn’t painful.”

A spokesperson for the airline released the following statement saying, “The only known interaction between the airline and Mr. Hogg regarding this incident, which he claims happened on a Qatar Airways aircraft in June, was via our website a week after his travel was complete. No report was filled with any staff on board regarding this incident.”

The airline says it has not been advised on any legal proceedings regarding the incident, and that they cannot comment further until investigating the claim.

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“Qatar Airways takes the safety and security of our customers very seriously,” the airline added.

Hogg first believed the reaction was due to a deep-vein thrombosis after experiencing swelling and bruising. As the pain got worse days later, friends urged him to seek medical help. He was traveling to South Africa to dive with sharks and had taken five months off work for the journey. The pain and swelling began shortly after he finished volunteering on the island of Borneo.

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