Alaska Airlines plane flew with worker trapped in cargo hold

(File: AAP)

An Alaska Airlines flight bound for Los Angeles was forced to return to Seattle, after discovering a ramp agent was trapped in the cargo hold.

Instantly after take off, the pilot of Alaskan Airlines Flight 448 reported hearing banging from underneath the plane.

Seattle television station KIRO 7 reported the worker had taken a nap in the pressurised and temperature-controlled cargo hold, and awoke to find the plane airborne.

The worker appeared to be fine, but was reportedly hospitalised as a precaution.

In a statement, Alaska Airlines said they were actively investigating the matter.

The flight left for Los Angeles 45 minutes after the worker was rescued, this time with only baggage in the hold.

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