The pilot of a Los Angeles-bound Alaska Airlines flight made an emergency landing after he discovered that a flight worker was trapped in the cargo hold. The worker in question fell asleep but got stuck in the cargo cabin.
Fourteen minutes after the plane took off, the captain and several first-class passengers heard a bashing noise below the aircraft. The pilot, upon learning something was wrong, performed an emergency landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at 2:39 p.m.
“I think we’re hearing a noise from the baggage compartment,” the pilot had said, as reported by KCPQ. “Might be a person in there, so we’re going to have to come back around.”
After landing, a flight worker came out from the cargo hold after being trapped in the area basically preserved for animals.
“Upon exiting, he told authorities he had fallen asleep,” a representative for the airline said.
The employee walked out after the plane landed. He was checked by doctors of the airport and was found unhurt, informed airport spokesman Perry Cooper. He was taken to a hospital, where he passed a drug test on Monday, as informed by airline spokesman Bryan Zidar.
Menzies Aviation did not divulge the name of the worker, who started work at 5 a.m. in the morning and was one among four members loading baggage of passengers on the flight.
The team leader, after loading the baggage, ensured all workers got off the flight. When he found one of them missing, he sent him a message but received no answer. Thinking the co-worker finished the shift early and went home, the leader dismissed the absence.
The plane was carrying 170 passengers with six crew members. After complete investigation, it was given permission to fly with the same set of passengers for Los Angeles before dusk. Alaska Airlines is still investigating the incident.