IndiGo ramper falls asleep inside cargo hold
Sunday’s IndiGo flight from Mumbai (BOM) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) carried one more passenger than expected. According to reports, one of the baggage handlers fell asleep in the cargo compartment while bags were being loaded.
I guess none of his colleagues realized he was missing, because the plane was sent on its way with him in the hold, and he only woke up after the flight had taken off. He was discovered upon arrival in Abu Dhabi. At that point the unintentional traveler was subjected to a medical examination. After he was found to be in good health, he was sent on the next flight back to Mumbai as a passenger.
India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is conducting an investigation into the incident, and those involved in the incident have been put on leave pending the investigation (I’m not sure if this just includes the person who inadvertently ended up on the flight to Abu Dhabi, or also his colleagues).
What’s the process in place to prevent this?
I’m sure I’m not the only one who is curious about this, and collectively OMAAT readers know just about everything, so…
On the one hand, I would think there’s no need to have a procedure in place to make sure no one falls asleep in a cargo hold, since that doesn’t exactly seem like the most relaxing place to take a nap. Then again, that probably just reflects my own challenges sleeping in anything other than a bed in a dark room with the right temperature. Some people can conk out anywhere, and I’m kind of jealous.
This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen the door closed on a ramper inside the cargo hold, so does anyone have an understanding of what processes are in place to prevent this?
- Is there some sort of a “roll call” when a flight’s cargo hold finishes being loaded, to ensure everyone involved is also off the plane?
- Is someone supposed to go into the cargo hold and look around to be sure no one is left behind?
- Or do they just hope for the best, and assume that no one could possibly fall asleep and not wake up until after the door closes?
On Sunday an airport baggage handler ended up falling asleep inside the cargo hold of an IndiGo plane bound for Abu Dhabi. He only ended up waking up after the plane took off (or at a minimum after the door was closed and there was no way to get in touch with anyone), so he flew all the way to UAE.
Upon arriving there he had a health check, and he was fortunately in good condition, so he was put on the next flight back to Mumbai. An investigation is now being conducted into the incident.
If anyone has any insights as to how this is possible, I’d sure love to learn more!