Baggage Handler Trapped in Cargo Hold Escapes…Barely

Passengers on a US Airways Embraer E-170 were surprised to hear banging and screaming coming from under the plane as they were about to pull away from their gate at Reagan National Airport.  A baggage handler had been in the cargo hold and was trapped after a co-worker shut the door without realizing he was in it.  The trapped staffer was supposed to also operate the tow to pull the plane away from the gate.  When he didn’t show up for that part of his duties (oh, that and the screaming and banging on the floor), the pilot realized what had happened.  He got out fine and went on to operate the tow.