View Full Version : Cuban Airliner Hijacked

1st Apr 2003, 13:57
BBC radio this morning 0615z today

Hijacked aircraft currently on the ground in Cuba on an internal flight. Hijacker (with grenades) allegedly ordered aircraft to fly to the USA.
Captain refused due to insufficient fuel, surprising!!

Newson radio says that it ws a Cuban airliner.
Anyone have any other news?

It would have been shot down if it got anywhere near the U.S. airspace!

The action is currently in Havana.

1st Apr 2003, 17:27
HAVANA, Cuba (Reuters) -- Cuban authorities were negotiating early Tuesday with a man, apparently armed with two hand grenades, who hijacked a domestic airliner with 46 passengers and crew aboard in an attempt to reach the United States.

The man hijacked the Soviet-built Antonov 24 plane on a flight from the Isle of Youth on the southern coast of Cuba on Monday night and ordered the pilot to fly to the United States. However, the plane had to land in Havana because it did not have enough fuel, a government statement said.

The AN-24 turboprop was standing on the tarmac at Havana's international airport with all its passengers and crew still on board as Cuba's Communist authorities tried to negotiate the hijacker's surrender, an airport official told Reuters.

"According to reports from the plane, the (hijacker) is at the back of the plane, apparently holding two grenades," the government statement, read on Cuban television, said. It said six of the passengers were children.

An airport employee said a police SWAT team dressed in black had surrounded the plane. He said the hijacker had not succeeded in entering the cockpit and the pilot was in constant contact with the control tower and authorities.

Reuters reporters at the airport said the AN-24 plane was standing in the darkness in the middle of the main runway. The lights were off on the aircraft.

Officials said the airport was closed to air traffic and planes that had been circling Havana waiting to land were diverted to the beach resort of Varadero.

The new hijacking came less than two weeks after a group of six Cubans hijacked a Douglas DC-3 at knifepoint with 31 other people on board and forced the pilot to fly to Key West, the southernmost point of the United States, 90 miles (135 km) across the Florida Straits.

The Antonov was on a scheduled flight on Monday from Nueva Gerona, on the Isle of Youth, to the Cuban capital, the same route of the DC-3 that was hijacked successfully on March 19.

"The Cuban authorities are making the maximum effort to reach a solution that preserves the security and life of the passengers and crew," the government's statement said.

It said the new hijacking followed the example of the March 19 incident, which Havana blamed on the United States for encouraging Cubans to leave the island illegally by granting them automatic residence in the United States.

"The responsibility of what could happen will fall squarely on the government of that country (the United States)," the Cuban statement said.

The six hijackers of the DC-3 sought asylum in the United States but were arrested in Florida and charged with conspiracy to seize an aircraft by force. Most of the crew and passengers were returned to Cuba.

Cuba and the United States have been ideological foes since President Fidel Castro came to power in a leftist revolution in 1959 in the midst of the Cold War

1st Apr 2003, 23:58
FOX News reports that the airliner has landed safely at Key West. Confirmation?

2nd Apr 2003, 00:48
It would have been shot down if it got anywhere near the U.S. airspace!Apparently not :rolleyes:

CNN confirms (http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/americas/04/01/cuba.hijacking/index.html) landed EYW. Another one for "Martinez Air" no doubt.
Not enough fuel to fly from Cuba to Florida ??

2nd Apr 2003, 03:28
... And as the incident ended safely...
These hijackers are not ... hijackers????
I mean they are not treated as hijackers????
Just wondering...

2nd Apr 2003, 05:02
Aircraft re-fuelled in Cuba...Hijacker had 2 grenades and was travelling with his family. Upon deplaning, he was seen carrying a 3 or 4 year old child. Once the arrest proceedings began, the child ran to his wife....

The hell, terror and journeys some people will make to have a better life. Feel sorry for everybody involved..Pax, Crew, Hijackers family. No happy ending for anyone and we complain like h*ell when cable goes out. Makes you feel how lucky we really are.

2nd Apr 2003, 23:01
The US considers Cuba to be a 'special case'. Got to keep those Florida voters onside y'know :mad:

(from AP (http://ap.tbo.com/ap/florida/))
Meanwhile, Ana Margarita Martinez obtained a court order Tuesday to seize the aircraft to partially pay a $27.1 million settlement she won against the Cuban government in 2001, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. Deputies were preparing to serve the order Wednesday.

The Miami woman has already received permission to seize the first hijacked plane, as she did a Cuban crop-duster that was flown by defectors to Key West Nov. 11.:mad: :mad: :mad:

3rd Apr 2003, 16:16
Surely any "HIJACKED" aircraft flying into USA airspace from somehwere else have 90% chance of being shot down by the National Guard?
This would theoretically alleviate any such chances of said aircraft being flown into buildings.