Ground handling staff flown inside cargo hold of Angola Airlines
October 03, 2016 – Kathmandu
A passenger routine flight of TAAG Angola Airlines outbound from Portugal to Angola was forced to divert back to origin and land as a ground worker who was last seen loading the cargo inside the aircraft was found missing in the working station at ground. The other ground staffs and crew suspected that the missing person might have been trapped inside the cargo hold and immediately decided to make a rapid descent and diversion back to the origin airport.
A person or a life if trapped inside a cargo hold while the airplane cruises in high altitude above 15,000 feet can adversely affect the breathing capacity and have to face various problems of pressurization and temperature. The pressure, temperature and oxygen level at the heights these planes cruises are significantly low. The immediate response of the crew would be to make a rapid descent to an appropriate altitude and land at the nearest airport.
The flight DT 655, departed from Porto at 10:14 AM local time had flown 105 kilometers south east of Lisbon when the crew were informed through radio about the missing ground worker. The missing worker was soon presumed to be trapped inside the cargo as he was last seen working in the cargo hold.
With a rapid descend the aircraft landed 18 minutes later the diversion to Lisbon from Porto. As suspected the missing worker was found inside the cargo hold of the aircraft and was in a very adverse condition suffering from hypothermia (dangerously low body temperature). The patient was rushed to hospital after the landing and is now recovering from the situation.
According to the reports, the ground handling staff was loading passenger’s pets when he accidentally fell and remained unconscious unnoticed by anyone and was flown into the sky with the aircraft.