Noise coming from cargo hold returns Houston-to-Ecuador United flight

A United Airlines flight from Houston to Ecuador has returned to Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport amid reports of a passenger stowed in the cargo area of the plane.

The airline says sounds were coming from the cargo hold but no one has been found. United describes the noises as a maintenance issue.

Houston television stations report the flight with 163 passengers aboard had been in the air Thursday about an hour before landing without incident back in Houston.

The passengers were being placed on another flight.