Jet makes emergency landing after worker falls asleep in cargo hold

An Alaska Airlines plane made an emergency landing in Seattle Monday after a gate worker in the northwestern US city fell asleep in the cargo hold before takeoff, and wound up trapped.

The airline said in a statement that the pilot on flight 448 made an emergency landing after hearing knocking sounds coming from below.

When the Los Angeles-bound flight landed back in Seattle, airport staff found a man in the front hold, who said he had fallen asleep.

"After landing, the agent, an employee of Menzies Aviation, walked off the aircraft from the front cargo hold, which is pressurized and temperature controlled. Upon exiting, he told authorities he had fallen asleep," the airline said.

Once released, "the ramp agent appeared OK, and was transported to the hospital as a precaution. We are actively investigating the matter," the airline said.

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emergency landingAlaska Airlinescargo hold