A 45-year-old baggage handler for United Airlines was locked in an airplane’s cargo hold during a one-and-a-half hour flight from North Carolina to Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C., on Sunday.
Reginald Gaskin was found unharmed after the flight landed at Dulles.
Crew members in Charlotte realized mid-flight that Gaskin might be in the cargo hold and notified the Federal Aviation Administration during the flight, according to The Washington Post. The FAA then readied emergency responders to meet the flight at the gate, but Gaskin refused medical treatment.
It was unclear whether the cargo hold had been pressurized or temperature controlled during the flight, which could have led to Gaskin being injured.
“I thank God. He was with me,” Gaskin said, the Post reported.
United Airlines is investigating the circumstances that led to Gaskin being in the cargo hold during the flight. Gaskin would not comment further about the situation on advice from an attorney, the Post reported.
The United Express flight was operated by Mesa Airlines, CBS News reported.
Dispatchers initially treated the incident as a security concern after learning that Gaskin had left his airport ID in Charlotte, but his identity was later verified, according to NBC Washington.
Gaskin is employed by G2 Secure Staff, a United vendor based in Texas that handles baggage for the airline, NBC reported.
Airport officials were still unsure whether the incident was an accident or a security incident, CBS said.
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