Gunman Holds Hostages On Canadian Airliner In Jamaica

canjet-jamaica-hostage

UPDATED, Monday 8:06am: CBC.ca report: Incident Is Over – Hijacker in Custody, Canadian Crew Released: Jamaican Police

Our original story…

Airliner Crew Held Hostage – Shot Fired – Most Passengers Released

A gunman stormed a Canadian CanJet airliner on the ground at Sangster international Airport in Jamaica and is still holding a number of crew members hostage. The incident started Sunday night around 10 PM local time. News reports say the gunmen forced his way through security and charged the aircraft before authorities could respond. Dozens of passengers were briefly held hostage before being released. Although a shot was fired, there are no reports of injuries in the news stories.

There are conflicting reports that two passengers are still being held with the flight crew.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is coincidentally in Jamaica for a one-day visit.

While the truth is, the situation could probably have happened just about anywhere — it didn’t. It happened in Jamaica, a country with one of the highest murder rates in the world and a gun culture that is even reflected in popular music. If any of our Canadian readers are thinking of a vacation in Jamaica, may we suggest you reconsider that Barbados is a much friendlier and safer vacation place.

For the latest on this story, Google “Jamaica airliner hostage” as we will not be updating this post for a few hours.

CBC.CA – Gunman holds Canadian plane, crew at airport in Jamaica

Sky News – Gunman Holds 7 Hostage In Jamaica

40 Comments

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40 responses to “Gunman Holds Hostages On Canadian Airliner In Jamaica

  1. Artful Dodger

    The gunman has already been arrested. This was a story for only 2 hours.

  2. BFP

    The arrest of the gunman broke at 8:06am this morning. The hostage taking took place at 10pm or so last night. The story now continues with questions about how a gunman could make it past airport security to the airplane.

    I can’t see that happening at Heathrow or Dulles. How about you?

  3. X

    A more relvant question is, could it happen in Barbados?

  4. Artful Dodger

    You are quite right, of course, BFP. The issue of how this guy got onboard a plane with a gun was the first thing that popped into my head when I read the story. My apologies for jumping the gun. (no pun intended)

  5. yatinkiteasy

    I seem to recall two Canadians being attacked on a Barbados Beach a few weeks ago, in broad daylight..one died..Barbados safe? Not so fast!

  6. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Jamaica: Hostages Released

  7. The Scout

    How many mad head Jamaicans do we have roaming the streets of Barbados? We identify the guyanese but there are many Jamaicans in this country too. Lord have mercy, one incedent like that in Barbados will only compound the problem we already face and the tourists industry dead. We in trouble, a volcano getting ready to erupt. Some-one once told me that Barbados will not be hit by a weather hurricane but a economic hurricane that will be more devastating that Ivan.

  8. Sad To Say

    While we have a number of mad head Jamaican and Guyanese here in Barbados however we have a number of our very own home grown mad heads walking our streets and beaches. When the news first broke that a Canadian was clubbed at Long Beach quite a few of us on this blog stated that a Bajan, not one our own flesh and blood, could have carried out such a gruesome act. We even went as far to blame it on a Guyanese living here. It turned out that the person arrested and charged with this crime navel string buried in the same place as mine and yours. Let us STOP fooling ourselves; many of our youngsters are disenfranchised with most persons and most things around them. We have a generation in the age range of 16-32 who see no future and they are not afraid to act out their thoughts and feelings. This festering situation cannot be politicized and we all must play our part, individually and collectively, in defusing a very challenging dilemma.

  9. The Scout

    Sad To Say
    I agree with you, that is why we have to try and put our youth on the right path. Administration after administration are ignoring a growing problem that we are having in Barbados with marginalising our young people especially the male. That is why we can’t afford to have lawless youths from other countries mingling with the lawless one we have here that are being ignored.

  10. reluctant nonbeliever

    Well said, Sad To Say.

    We hear too much of such dumb Bajan nationalism like Scout’s.

    And BFP – maybe you’re being tongue in cheek, but as for Barbados being a “safer and friendlier” place to visit than Jamaica: safer maybe.

    But friendlier?

    Give me a break.

  11. Neutral Observer

    I don’t think I like the tone of this submission. Why try to kick Jamaicans when they’re down? Then to go so far as to use the incident to try to scare away potential visitors to their island? Come on, we can do better than that.

  12. reluctant nonbeliever

    Again – well said.

  13. The Scout

    Neutral Observer
    We are accused of kicking the guyanese when they are down, now we’re accused of kicking the Jamaican when they are down. Don’t you think that if we allow both of these people to string on to Barbados coat-tail that we would be pulled down too? Jamaican used to call bajans “small island people”. One fellow once told me Barbados is so small that if you plant a pumpkin vine you have to turn back the end from growing in the sea. I told him that is true, that’s why we used to hear the school bell ring. Barbados just cannot take all these people coming here and coming with that same big island vs small island attitude. We have some arrogant jamaican here and many tiefing guyanese. “Lord, we cant tek it nah mo”

  14. Sad To Say

    Our youngsters don’t need Guyanese or Jamaicans to show them how to behave badly. The bad traits that our young ones are picking up are bypassing our front door they are getting into our homes via TV, the Internet, MP3 Players and the Dub fetes. Via these media the bad boy image is glorified. So we are creating a cultural mindset that it is cool to be bad. Unfortunately many of us Bajans are turning a blind eye to the fact that the types of children we are bringing up are a long cry from the ones our parents raised a mere generation ago. And let me remind everyone here we can exert much greater control that we appreciate – we can control TV and Internet access and we can screen the type of music, friends, parties that they are associated with. Let us stop blaming Guyanese, Jamaicans and other foreigners for all things that are bad with our society we must accept that we may be our worst enemy – we are failing the upcoming generation and the sooner we appreciate this the better for all concerned.

  15. Jim

    Back to the story… the management company of the Sangster Airport is no less than a Canadian company – the same one that runs the Vancouver airport and is exporting their “management expertise”. And this attempted hijacking took place with a Canadian charter airline they were handling, so it seems they don’t even care about their own.

    To say that someone can just break through security at Sangster reflects directly on Vancouver airport – might this kind of event also be possible there? Do Canadian businesses have double standards between home and abroad?

    Let’s also look at another Canadian export – the Post Office.

    Canada Post – a private Corporation at arms-length from the government – did a mega-bucks consult to the government of Trinidad and Tobago, yet here at home (in Canada) they can’t perform the most basic of functions without screwing it up. I went to buy an international money order last week and the clerk there was unable to perform that service – screwing up about seven blanks in an hour. I eventually gave up and left.

    Six years ago I posted three large books to Anguilla – by Air Mail – yet six months later they still had not arrived. When I made a fuss they magically appeared, and the Canada Post executive who dealt with me would only refund the difference between Air Mail and Surface – what kind of service is that? And I have also mailed a letter in downtown Toronto that took eight business days to be taken to the bank three blocks away – I could have crawled there – and back – faster on my own hands and knees.

    For Canada Post’s Express Post service they say within three business days, but they also tell you in the next breath “no guarantees”.

    And Canada is the only country I have ever known to charge sales tax on postage…

    Don’t get me started on their high prices of postage, there is no question – by a long shot – it is outright legalised highway robbery here of their own citizens. Big bucks for crap-poor service.

    So whenever you look at Canadian companies or corprations from now on, let me ask you to see them as robbers rather than helpers, more high-priced loud-mouthed incompetents and fools than competent wizards.

    Make no mistake, Canada is a Third World country in a First World jacket and cap… and that attempted hijacking in Jamaica yesterday is just the tip of the iceberg.

  16. Artful Dodger

    Jim, while I understand your concerns, I feel I must correct your misunderstanding of the “management” of Sangster Airport. A Canadian company has a 25% financial interest in Sangster Airport. Security and ground workers are all Jamaican and it is yet to be made public the circumstances of how Mr. Frey made it to the plane with a gun.

  17. Pat

    It makes no difference what they say about Jamaicans. I will still vacation there. Food cheap, cheap, cheap. People nice, nice, nice! Beaches, mountains, rivers, seaeggs….

  18. J

    Sometime it is not nationality or ethnicity.

    Sometimes sadly it is just mental illness.

  19. Pingback: Hijack on the Tarmac?-Jamaica’s First Brush with an International Crisis-Video « Kingston State Of Mind

  20. westcoastcanada

    read how canadian-trained Jamaican commandos foiled the hijacking

    http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/04/21/jamaican-transport-minister-hijack.html

  21. PsycHuntress

    Okay, getting back on path.

    What I want to know exactly is: HOW DID HE GET ON BOARD WITH A GUN?

    How did this man, get past airport security in its various forms, with a gun no less and on to a plane?

    Was there a breach that was not accounted for that he was able to take advantage of?

    Was he enabled by other persons who may be part of the airport’s security?

    Was there a breach or a possible breach, that was accounted for but nothing was done about that allowed him to do what he did?
    ************

    This could have happened anywhere…
    Even in England- @ Heathrow or even at JFK.
    The difference probably would be that it might have been harder for him to do(we are not altogether convinced of that) and it might have dealt with much quicker than it was in this situation.

    While the truth is that Caribbean countries generally do not have the resources that North America and UK and Europe may have, even the resources that they have can be circumvented.

    I hope someone can answer the questions I posted…

  22. Nigel Williams

    When I was growing up in Jamaica we had people from so many other countries that had made it there home. My spanish teachers were Cubans and Venezuelans, my social study teachers from St Lucia. We had Nigerians nurses as well as Cubans. At UWI there were students from Barbados, Trinidad, Guyana, Haitians and so many others who live across the city.

    But I did not feel or demonstrate any hostitlies towards these people or even feel that they did not belong.

    I am struggling with the notion that there is so hostilities towards us Jamaicans.

    To cap this the BFP seeks to trivilise the matter of crime and violence. I did not hear BFP called on Canadians to visit Barbados instead of Mexico yet still that country is murdering there citizens left and centre. Did BFP asked Candians not to go Colombia or South Africa or for that fact Trinidad and Tobago that is reeling under a gun spree?

    As we would say in Jamaica ”’pick out the matta outa yu eye before u point out the one in mine…”

    We readily accept that we are not a perfect country but we are proud country even though small and our achievements are there for all to see.

    We need to stop this Jamaica bashing as we dont bash other countries.

  23. duttybwoy

    Thank you Nigel Williams

  24. Sad To Say

    I am Bajan to the bone, however I am unique; I can go into a non-emotive mode when it comes to nationality, race, ethnicity, politics, profession and even friends and acquaintances. Objectivity is my middle name. I call a spade a spade. With that disclaimer out of the way let me say: Nigel Williams, well said. There are some of us Bajans that are too ignorant to appreciate how ignorant they are. Forgive them my BROTHER. I truly believe that most Bajans have the ability and capacity to be non-secular, however, over the years we have been brainwashed into believing that we are the chosen ones and all other Caribbean nationalities are second class. This is sad for when even a modicum of logic is applied it should be blatantly obvious that those of us whose ancestors have roamed these lands for the last 200 years or more are no more Jamaican than Bajan. As Black Stalin stated in his famous calypso we came off the same ship. We are ALL BROTHERS AND SISTERS. While I do believe that laws have to be adhered to and migration should be managed, however, I have a problem when our politicians try to use immigration issues to score cheap political points with the electorate. If the EU has become a reality, there is no good reason why CSME should not deliver the same for us Bajans and other Caribbean nationalities.

  25. Elombe2

    Did not our parents say the same thing anf their parents to them? Give it a rest!

  26. Sad To Say

    BS. This is the cop out response. In case you need to be reminded the shit is currently hitting the fan big time and while apologist like you spew your rhetoric we are loosing an entire generation.

  27. livinginbarbados

    I guess those who like the Caribbean as much as they like a single country will think that this post has a nasty taste. Nice selective memory, when you could have reminded the potential Canadian visitors about the recent murder of one of their own on a Barbados beach. I’ll check though to see if with that story you suggested that the Canadians stop coming to Bim and head to another island. One post for you to reflect on, if the intent was anything other than making a splash.

    For the record, security at Grantley Adams is not too rigorous, as many travellers will attest, and though it may not seem likely getting from check in onto a plane is simpler, not least because the airport is very small. I suggest also that you check with travellers at the discretion they see being exercised at the security checks when it comes to what is really checked and what is allowed past the checks.

  28. turtles

    it is true that Jamaica is a violent and dangerous country compared with many other caribbean nations. why is this? we can debate the reasons for this fact, but not that the statement is true. bfp has a talent for saying what everybody thinking but don’t want to be impolite to say

  29. The Scout

    Nigel Williams, Sad to Say
    What are you suggesting, that we open up the immigrantion flood gates and allow any and every body that wants to come to Barbados to walk right in and take the bajan jobs? Did I not hear Jamaicans are also conplaining about the influx of non-nationals into that country? How many times can Barbados fit into Jamaica? Can I remind you that Jamaica refers to Barbados as a small island? Also let me remind you that a pumpkin vine, if left unattended in Barbados will still spread into the sea. Thank God we hear when the school bell rings. Plus there are a lot of Jamaican at UWI here in Barbados too and enjoying a beautiful life. Most of them don’t want to return. I don’t think none of you really understand the bajan problem. it is not that we don’t welcome non-nationals but we can only accept but so much and right now it is becoming a massive problem. When the problem reaches the stage where the welfare of the bajans is at stake, it is time to retaliate. Plus many of those trying to settle here are challenging bajans for the right to be on par with them or even supercede them. We bajans built this country without any natural rescourses and put this little “sand bank’ to be recognised internationally, therefore that is why people from all over the region and beyond now want to jump on the bandwagon. Many are trying to “bad talk” bajans to get what we have, and many bajans did not realise what was happening, now that they have many in mass is prepared to put an end to the invasion before we wake up one morning and hear that this is not OUR country anymore.

  30. Sad To Say

    I will restate, “While I do believe that laws have to be adhered to and migration should be managed, however, I have a problem when our politicians try to use immigration issues to score cheap political points with the electorate.”

    You have no more claim to Barbados than any other Bajan. You are entitled to your opinions irrespective of how myopic they may be, just the same way I am entitled to my opinions irrespective of how liberal they may be. Barbados is the greatest rock on earth bar none, however, we are not going to reach first world status come 2025 by excluding diversity, new ideas, new people.

    For the record:
    1. There would be no Rihanna if her mother never migrated here from Guyana
    2. There would be no Oba if his family never migrated here from Guyana
    3. A number of our great teachers, lawyers, doctors, bankers and engineers were not born in Barbados
    4. Myra Thomson is St. Lucian
    5. Mia Mottley has Grenadian roots
    6. Most of Errol Barrow’s siblings were born in St. Vincent
    7. The founder of Life of BARBADOS was Guyanese
    8. Hiliary Beckles, Owen Arthur, Erskine Sandiford choose to marry non-Bajans – does this make them traitors?
    9. Jeannette Layne-Clarke’s parents were Guyanese

    Without the above “Bajans” Barbados will be a lot poorer place.

    Why do we cherry pick when we are conferring the title of Bajan? For example many of us Bajans (including me) thump our chest and claim Oba and Rihanna as our own when they are not 100% Bajan like you and I? So when we import good genes we secretly repackage them as 100% Bajan and when there is a less than satisfactory result we lable these genes as foreign. Not to be insultive to Rihanna’s father if we took Rihanna as an example who do you think was more responsible for getting her (and us) on the map her father’s or mother’s genes? My bet is while it is a combination of both I would give her mother’s genes the edge.

    Prejudism is one of the most incurable diseases known to man. It is time that we Bajans lead the world in trying to wipe this scourge from the face our planet. Our diverse nature and heritage gives us a distinct advantage in tackling this cancer. Let us not waste such an opportunity.

  31. “While the truth is, the situation could probably have happened just about anywhere — it didn’t. It happened in Jamaica, a country with one of the highest murder rates in the world and a gun culture that is even reflected in popular music. If any of our Canadian readers are thinking of a vacation in Jamaica, may we suggest you reconsider that Barbados is a much friendlier and safer vacation place.” – that is such an anti-Jamaican slur!

  32. Sad To Say

    “If any of our Canadian readers are thinking of a vacation in Jamaica, may we suggest you reconsider that Barbados is a much friendlier and safer vacation place” – Amazingly ignorant!!! I would damed pissed if a Jamaican (or anyone) tried to redirect tourists to their country because a Canadian was recently murdered here.

  33. Nigel Williams

    The tone and content of my post was based on what we have come to view as an engrained anti-Jamaican mentality outside of our country.

    The fact that a few of country men have dishonoured our country’s reputation is a sore point for all of us. Are we to assume that Barbados does not have a crime problem or none of its citizenships have not run a foul of the law in other foreign countries. Every single country in our region is battling the issue if crime – Haiti (our Prime Minister just talked about that and the fact that it is a major port for guns to Jamaica), Trinidad, St Kitts, St Lucia etc, etc

    It is absolutely inexecuseable to see and read comments about Jamaicans published here and elsewhere. A careful perusing of any of the Jamaica dailies – http://www.jamaicagleaner.com, http://www.jamaicaobserver.com, http://www.sunheraldja.com, at any time will not show letters to the editor or comments from Jamaicans deriding the Bajans, or the Trinidadians.

    The point in highlighting the matter of so many people from elsewhere living in Jamaica was to underscore the fact that we are a multicultural people. Our national motto clearly examplified that – “Out of many one people..”

    If Barbados, Trinidad or any other country in the region is experiencing an inflow of undocumented people then it is a matter for there police and immigration people to take action against. If you can’t do that then it means there are weakness in there enforcement system that needs to be corrected.

    I will take the opportunity of point out that we have had over 2.3 million tourist visted Jamaica last year – none were murdered. Yet, still we are suppose to be a country that is dangerous and violent. I beg to differ!

  34. Sad To Say

    Nigel

    Just want to point out that BFP is not an official news outfit so there should be no comparison to your daily news papers.

    Secondly those on this blog who are painting ALL Jamaicans with the same brush represent a small (yet vocal) segment of our population. They do not speak for me and most other Bajans.

    Therefore I am encouraging you (and other non-Bajans) not to judge Barbados or Bajans exclusively by what you may or may not read on this blog.

    STS

  35. ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID

    Well said Nigel Williams!!

  36. ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID

    Well said, Sad to Say!! Excellent points in terms of your respective comments.

  37. Jim

    If you think a US or canadian company is going to assume a 25% financial interest in any “foreign” venture and not control it, I have a slightly-used bridge in Brooklyn to sell you – real cheap.

    Let me tell you that the Canadians would have marched in there with minority financial interest and a majority decision-making, NO QUESTION. As foreign “experts”, the Canadians would have told the Jamaicans what to do in and with the airport and how to do it, make no mistake. And don’t tell me you don’t know about that mentality.

    Yet at the time of greatest trouble all we can hear is how the liberating security forces were Canadian trained!!!

    What does this Canadian company really do for security in Vancouver airport? The Press reported that the hijacker walked through Security SHOWING HIS GUN, then onto the aircraft with the rest of the passengers, and the so-called “security screeners” did nothing to stop him.

    Yes, I know that security screeners are minimum-wage people who cannot be trusted with the very same penknives they take away from passengers, but I ask again – is that the way they do things in Vancouver? And if not, why was NOTHING done to prepare for such an eventuality?

    This is the same Canadian-controlled and Canadian-managed airport where an airport “security guard” was arrested for keeping a cache of ganja to give to passengers after they had passed through screening… what is going on there?

    I’ll take you back to Canada Post, the most incompetent, inefficient Postal Service I personally have ever come across in my 60 years (many bad experiences, and more ongoing) who go out into the world, AS EXPERTS IN THEIR FIELD, advising other countries on their own Postal Services… I can only imagine they are advising the local politicians how they can run it into the ground and steal every possible Corporation asset and every valuable item shipped through it.

    In that MoBay story there is either too much or too little going on, depending on how you look at it. Were the Canadians making a quick buck by doing as little as possible? Or are they in cahoots with the smugglers to ensure a continuous drug pipeline into Canada?

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but when I see foreigners in our countries doing things that we should be doing for ourselves, I have to stop and ask questions.

    Such as, WHEN did we as Caribbean nationals become so stupid that we could not send our own people for training and to observe other airports in operation, bringing that knowledge and experience home and applying it to our own shores? Are we all just a bunch of banana-eating beach bums?

    I do understand that by allowing foreigners access to our islands we all see how things cna be better – if not different – but ESPECIALLY now when times are getting harder I think it is important to “do for we”, and send the foreigners back where they came from so they can “do for them”.

    I want to bring back a slogan from decades past… “BUY LOCAL”.

  38. Sad To Say

    EAR: Thanks for your encouraging comments. As a people (Bajans) we have to learn to be more tolerant and objective. My parents always tried to instil these values/ views in us (my siblings and me). I am often saddened when my very own people “diss” our Caribbean botherin and sisterin so flippantly. I AM 100% BAJAN but I will never support xenophobia or nepotism.

  39. townecrier

    Actually if you polled the Jamaicans at cave hill you’d find that most can’t wait to leave. And that what they miss is not Barbados, nor even Bajans, but friends they made from other islands.

    Go tell the Jamaican girls who got robbed in St. Lawrence Gap at gunpoint just before x-mas, who when they went to report it to the police the only thing the police asked was if – Jamaica doesn’t have any schools why are they in Barbados – that they don’t want to leave.

    There are many nice Bajans, but people like you are a disgrace to your country.

    No one wants you to “open up the floodgates” and remove all restrictions. But you ARE members of CARICOM and the CSME right? Either act like a member of the community or leave.

    Also EVERYWHERE in the caribbean is defined as a “small island”. So if you take offence to the term then kindly remind whoever is saying it that they are small island too.

    http://stats.oecd.org/glossary/detail.asp?ID=6338