Charlotte baggage handler locked in cargo hold during hour-long flight

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Airport workers opened the cargo hold of a United Airlines flight to find quite a surprise Sunday. According to radio traffic, a baggage handler told them he'd been trapped inside the cargo area of the plane, which traveled to Washington-Dulles from Charlotte-Douglass.

"He was accidentally locked inside the cargo area... He was a baggage loader at the Charlotte airport," the radio traffic stated.

The Federal Aviation Administration says they are "looking into the event."

According to Flight Aware, United Airlines Flight 6060 left Charlotte AT 3:18 and landed in DC at 4:16. The plane reached an altitude of 27,000 feet, but somehow the employee wasn't injured.

"There's no injuries. He's refusing us checking him out. We're all in service," radio traffic said.

Radio traffic reveals a scramble to figure out if the incident was an accident or a security threat.

"We're going to work it as a security incident until we can get some confirmation to who he is even though he's in trade dress for a ramper in Charlotte. The flight crew doesn't remember seeing him or anything like that," they said.

United Airlines confirmed the incident, stating, "United Express flight 6060 operated by Mesa Airlines from Charlotte Douglas to Washington-Dulles (IAD) landed safely at IAD yesterday. Once at the gate, an employee of the airline's ground handling vendor was found unharmed in the aircraft's cargo hold. We are looking into what happened."

The handler's name has not been released.

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