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Monday, April 20, 2009

Jamaica Hijack!

I was supposed to post about the fun-filled, photo-filled weekend that I just enjoyed at Bacchanal Carnival, but there is a bit of shocking news! What could be so shocking?

Jamaica Observer Picture

A Jamaica man hijacked a Canadian Airline, full of passengers at the Sangsters International Airport on Sunday! Yes, I was just as shocked as you, when I first heard this news. This is not possible, dem things yah nuh happen a Jamaica. A Jamaican, hijacking a plane, the hijack being done here on Jamaican soil? But, it is certainly true, as the Jamaica Gleaner, as well as CNN confirmed this shocking incident.

According to the reports, the gunman a 20 year old male from a Montego Bay community, allegedly of unsound mind, used fake ID cards to get into the airport terminal building. He then proceeded to the terminal where he threatened airport personnel before boarding the Canjet Airlines flight 918, which was destined to Cuba then on to Canada. It is reported that the gunman proceeded to rob the passengers and demanded that the plane transport him to Cuba. After negotiations, which involved our Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, and the hijacker's father, the hijacker released the 174 passengers and later the crew members. He was then captured and arrested by the police.

No doubt this latest incident with further tarnish Jamaica's reputation as we are already struggling with endless murders and being labeled as a severely homophobic country. Now we will be labeled as one of those countries that have airplane hijackers. A lot of countries have this, even the great USA, but when something like this happens to a country like Jamaica it seems even worse. However, the Jamaican government is reported to have started to do damage control on this situation. Hopefully this incident is as the airport official terms it, an "isolated and was clearly not a terrorist attack" and that everyone else who heard the news thinks so too. The least thing this ailing country needs now it a fallout from this incident.

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11 commented:

NO this is crazy...but probelmatic for us

At least our security forces were capable when the world was watching. Things could be worse!

I honestly couldn't believe this when I saw the headlines this morning.

It's still up on CNN's front page, but "Troops end Jamaica airliner hostage siege" isn't bad as far as headlines go. The story itself also has a note at the top saying "Hostage-taker captured by military described as "mentally challenged." The AP story Fox News is running sounds similar.

So as far as damage to Jamaica's reputation goes, I think we'll have to see how that plays out. A lot might depend on what the Canadian PM has to say after he visits Jamaica.

The authorities need to find the shortcut he took from the main road to the runway.

I didn't even bother to leave my house today; too much madness. But, Stunner, the reason why these events make us look bad is because the people in charge are fundamentally incompetent. This is our basic problem and until we do something about this, not much will change anywhere. Now, you tell me that someone pushes past the security guard - there's always more than one at the gate, plus a gate agent, etc. and nobody can stop him between then and when him running down the ramp to get on the plane to hold up the plane? Having witnessed more than a couple of security blunders at Sangster's and at NMIA - and having gotten away with things myself - trust me, I can see how this could happen. I sure didn't expect it, but with these not-so smart people we have in charge of things, I can definitely see it. Pretty airport don't mean we know what we doing you know.

apparently he's not that challenged after all

With all the machine guns around that place you'd think this was impossible.

I was in total shock when i heard it on "Good Morning America"!! Diane Sawyer was talking about it and I was like ,"OMG, no, this is not happening!!" Like GC said in his/her comments, I didn't think he was that mentally challenged either if he had gotten that far in his plans.Wow, I can see the tourism sector now scrambling to get things back on track. Security at the airports a bit too lax maybe?

I was just as amazed but I quickly thought it was another incident of slackness at an airport. It's scary too in that with all these supposed security checks these things can still happen.

A bredrin at work was asking me if I had an alibi because the picture he saw of the guy looked a lot like me. :^)

That is about the only funny side to this incident! LOL