Worker stuck in cargo hold forced emergency landing. Alaska Airlines flight made an emergency landing in Seattle Monday afternoon after pilots heard a person banging in the cargo hold of the Boeing 737 aircraft. The person turned out to be a ramp worker. The man had fallen asleep in the cargo hold.
The captain immediately returned to Seattle, declaring an emergency for priority landing. The Boeing 737 was in the air for 14 minutes, according to the carrier.
Pilots reported hearing banging from beneath the aircraft immediately after takeoff. Passengers apparently heard the worker, too.
"As we were taking off, the plane accelerated. The passengers in first class heard banging from underneath us and a person yelling for help. Two air marshals that were on board quickly jumped up and conferred with a flight attendant. That message was relayed up to the pilots. And shortly after that, we heard the announcement that the plane was going to be turned around. The banging continued for quite a while we were circling. Air marshals banged back down trying to communicate with the person in the hold and yelling down that we were landing," Jesse Sycuro, a passenger on Flight 448 said.
After landing, a ramp agent was found inside the front cargo hold, which is pressurized and temperature controlled. The ramp agent appeared okey and was transported to the hospital as a precaution. Alaska Air is actively investigating the matter.