Hostages Held on Canadian Plane at Jamaica Airport

Updated below: Several hostages have been held captive Sunday night/Monday morning by an armed man inside a CanJet plane at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Sources say the man, who somehow got past airport security with a gun, boarded the CanJet plane as it was preparing to leave Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica. There were 169 passengers on the plane at the time and the hostage taker released 167 of them after 30 minutes, holding back 2 passengers and 5 crew members.

Police have the plane surrounded and have opened negotiations with the hostage taker to try and secure the safe release of the captives. One shot was allegedly fired inside the plane.

The plane was scheduled to leave Jamaica at around 10:30pm local time and fly to Nova Scotia, Canada.

Update: It is believed that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is actually vacationing in Jamaica at the time of the hostage taking.

Update 2: A reporter tells CNN International that all passengers have been released aboard a plane in Jamaica. [via: BNOnews]

Update 3: [via: CNN]

“His demand was to go to Cuba,” said Jamaica’s Information Minister Daryl Vaz.

The man’s father was on the scene to help secure the release of the crew members, Vaz said. The country’s Prime Minister Bruce Golding and the minister of national security also flew in by helicopter.

“All passengers have been safely removed from the aircraft, but CanJet crew and the armed man remain on board,” the airline said in a statement. “Our understanding is that no harm has come to anyone remaining on board and no there has been no damage to the aircraft.”

CanJet Flight 918 flew in from Halifax, Canada, and had made a scheduled landing at Montego Bay when the armed man boarded the plane late Sunday, the airline said.

The flight was carrying 182 passengers and crew. The man took an undisclosed number of them hostage, said Elizabeth Scotton, a spokeswoman for the company that manages the airport.