Airliner gunman holds crew hostage at Jamaican airport

A mentally ill gunman held six airline crew hostage today after forcing his way on to a jet at Jamaica’s Montego Bay airport.

Soldiers and police surrounded the Canadian CanJet plane as talks continued with the man.

He barged through airport security and onto the Boeing 737 then demanded to be flown to Cuba.

He released most of the 159 passengers and eight crew, but was still holding six crew members, police said.

The plane had arrived from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and was scheduled to stop in Santa Clara, Cuba, before returning to Canada, officials said.

The gunman’s father was assisting with negotiations.

Jamaican information minister Daryl Vaz described the gunman as being Jamaican and about 20 years old, saying he was a “mentally challenged youngster”. He did not give details about the man’s mental condition.

The airline said “a full security operation is under way” and it is co-operating with authorities on the Caribbean island.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding addressed all the passengers after they were debriefed by police and assured them that everything possible was being done to return them home quickly, police said.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was in Jamaica for a one-day visit was monitoring developments.

More in this Section

Rubbish piling up in Athens as workers embark on series of strikesRubbish piling up in Athens as workers embark on series of strikes

SNP might want no-deal Brexit, claims Michael GoveSNP might want no-deal Brexit, claims Michael Gove

Scientists develop artificial leaf capable of producing clean gasScientists develop artificial leaf capable of producing clean gas

Commons Speaker rejects bid to hold 'meaningful vote' on Johnson's Brexit deal Commons Speaker rejects bid to hold 'meaningful vote' on Johnson's Brexit deal


Lifestyle

Carol O’Callaghan continues her round-up of home interior shops in country towns and the outer reaches of our cities, finding more treasure troves which offer something new and a touch of exclusivityMade in Munster: The best interior shops in country towns

When the Irish Examiner broke the news that an ultra-inquisitive deer photobombed newlyweds at Killarney’s Ladies View the story went viral.Wedding of the Week: Time for Australian celebrations for bride and groom photobombed by deer

At the start of the 10th and final episode of Confronting: OJ Simpson, a series which has been downloaded over five million times since launching in June, host Kim Goldman is in tears, talking to her father about how strong he was through the murder of her brother, his son,Ron Goldman.Podcast Corner: Host relives brother’s death in famous case

Thomas McCarthy pays tribute to his late friend — poet and journalist Seán Dunne'Seán Dunne was one of the most loved people I ever knew'

More From The Irish Examiner