Hungover baggage handler falls asleep and gets trapped in cargo hold during flight to O'Hare

CHICAGO, Illinois -- There was a surprise discovery on an American Airlines plane that landed at O'Hare last weekend.

A baggage handler was found trapped in the cargo hold. He admits he was drunk and fell asleep inside the 737 on the flight from Kansas City to Chicago, police said.

The employee for regional carrier Piedmont Airlines was not hurt and was not charged with a crime, but he has been suspended.

A source told ABC News the man likely wasn't discovered before departure because there was no luggage loaded into the forward hold for the flight.

"A Piedmont Airlines employee, who was working an American Airlines flight on the morning of Oct. 27 at Kansas City International Airport (MCI), inadvertently fell asleep in the forward cargo hold of a Boeing 737-800 aircraft," American Airlines said in a statement. "The flight subsequently took off with the team member in the cargo hold, which was heated and pressurized.

"Our top priority is ensuring the well-being of the Piedmont employee," the statement continued. "He did not request any medical attention upon arrival in Chicago, and we are grateful that he did not sustain any injuries. The American team is very concerned about this serious situation, and we are reviewing what transpired with our Piedmont and Kansas City colleagues."
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