An AirTran Airways flight bound for Boston was rerouted Saturday when the pilot mistook thumps from a cargo hold as a possible stowaway or someone trapped below deck.
The pilot aboard Flight 872 told passengers shortly after takeoff from Chicago’s Midway Airport that he thought rapping sounds from below the cabin might be someone trying to signal the crew.
Crew members used a water bottle to tap an SOS signal on the cabin floor and thought the series of knocks that followed was someone signaling them from a cargo hold, a flight attendant told a Tribune reporter who was on the plane.
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The knocking turned out to be from a cargo hold that was not fully sealed and was losing pressure, said AirTran spokesman Tad Hutcheson.