Flight Returns To Seattle After Worker Trapped In Cargo Hold

SEATTLE (CNS/FOX 11) - A Los Angeles-bound flight made an emergency return to Seattle Monday when the pilot heard a banging noise, which turned to be a member of the ground crew who had fallen asleep in a cargo hold.

Alaska Airlines flight 448 had been in the air for 14 minutes after taking off from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport when the pilot "reported hearing banging from beneath the aircraft,'' according to the airline.

"The captain immediately returned to Seattle, declaring an emergency for priority landing,'' according to Alaska Airlines. "... After landing, a ramp agent was found inside the front cargo hold, which is pressurized and temperature controlled.

"The ramp agent appeared OK, and was transported to the hospital as a precaution,'' according to the airline.

Airline officials said the ramp agent was an employee of Menzies Aviation, who told authorities when he walked out of the cargo hold that "he had fallen asleep.''

"We are actively investigating this matter,'' according to the airline.

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