14 Apr 2015

Worker trapped in hold as flight takes off

1:03 pm on 14 April 2015

An Alaska Airlines plane has made an emergency landing at Seattle after taking off with a worker trapped in the cargo hold.

Alaska Airlines planes at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Alaska Airlines planes at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Photo: AFP

The pilot of Flight 448, bound for Los Angeles, was alerted by the sound of banging from beneath the aircraft shortly after take-off from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, south of Seattle.

When the aircraft returned after being in the air for 14 minutes, a ramp agent was found inside the pressurised and temperature-controlled front cargo hold, the statement said.

The Menzies Aviation employee told authorities he had fallen asleep in the cargo area under the cabin, the US carrier said.

"The ramp agent appeared OK, and was transported to the hospital as a precaution," the airline said on its website. "We are actively investigating the matter."