SEATTLE — Alaska Airlines Flight 448 en route from Seattle to Los Angeles turned around after “banging” was heard beneath the aircraft Monday. Upon landing, a ramp agent was found in the cargo hold, the airline said.
“The ramp agent appeared okay, and was transported to the hospital as a precaution,” Alaska Airlines said in a statement.
Immediately after takeoff from Sea-Tac, the pilot “reported hearing banging from beneath the aircraft,” the airline said.
“The captain immediately returned to Seattle, declaring an emergency for priority landing. The aircraft was in the air for 14 minutes. After landing, a ramp agent was found inside the front cargo hold, which is pressurized and temperature controlled."
“The agent, an employee of Menzies Aviation, walked off the aircraft from the front cargo hold … and told authorities he had fallen asleep,” Alaska Airlines said.
Alaska Airlines said it is investigating the incident.