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Airline Worker Takes Nap In Cargo Hold, Then Wakes Up Mid-Flight

The banging is coming from inside the plane (Lucas Photo /
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A flight bound for Los Angeles had to flip around and go back to Seattle when the pilot heard a loud banging noise. The noise turned out to be coming from inside the plane: a ramp agent was trapped in the cargo hold below.

Alaska Airlines flight 448 was in the air for 14 minutes after taking off from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport when the pilot reported hearing the strange banging sound coming from beneath the aircraft, according to City News Service.

After landing back in Seattle, the ramp agent was discovered safe and sound inside the front cargo hold, though the agent was transported to the hospital just to be safe. A source told NBC that the agent had apparently taken a nap in the cargo hold and didn't wake up until after the plane was well on its way to Los Angeles.

The airline released a statement noting that the hold is "pressurized and temperature controlled." The airline said they're investigating exactly what happened.

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UPDATE 8:30 p.m.: We have a little more information about yesterday's napping ramp worker. He was transported to a hospital and didn't test positive for any drugs. It sounds like he was out cold,according to a report from the Associated Press:

Alaska says the man started work at 5 a.m. Monday and was due off at 2:30 p.m. He was part of a four-person team loading baggage. Before the plane departed, the leader of the man's team noticed he was missing, called into the cargo hold and called and texted the man's cellphone but got no answer. Co-workers decided he had finished his shift and gone home.