(SEATTLE) — A ramp agent, trapped in the front cargo hold of an Alaska Airlines plane Monday evening, was able to alert the plane’s pilot and ensure his safe escape shortly after the plane took off.
According to the airline, the pilot heard banging coming from beneath the aircraft “immediately after takeoff.” The pilot declared an emergency and returned immediately to Seattle, where the plane, bound for Los Angeles, was given priority landing after 14 minutes in the air.
After landing, the agent was found in the cargo hold — which is pressurized and temperature-controlled. The agent was taken to an area hospital as a precaution, but Alaska Airlines said the individual “appeared okay.” The airline said the agent claimed to have fallen asleep.
The agent was released from the hospital later Monday night.
The airline says it is “actively investigating the matter.”
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