Gunman holds plane crew hostage

A gunman hijacked a plane on the tarmac near Montego Bay in Jamaica and took crew members hostage, airline officials said today.

The man boarded the CanJet Airlines plane carrying 182 people after it landed at Sangster International Airport last night, according to the airline.

It said all the passengers were released from the Boeing 737 unharmed.

Authorities said the gunman’s demands were not immediately clear.

“There is somebody on the plane. We don’t know who it is,” police spokesman Karl Angell said.

The situation began at around 10pm last night (3am Irish time) and CanJet flight 918, destined for Halifax, Canada, never took off, according to airport spokeswoman Elizabeth Scotton.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding was travelling to Montego Bay in response to the emergency, Radio Jamaica reported.

TV news channel CNN reported that the gunman was holding five crew members on the plane.

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

Jamaica's Information Minister, Daryl Vaz, told CNN that two crew members had been released, and no injuries had been reported.

He said the hijacker was a “mentally challenged young man” and his father was at the airport taking part in negotiations to end the incident.

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