Hijacking Ends Peacefully At Mexico City Airport

By: CNN
By: CNN

MEXICO CITY (CNN) -- The hijacking of a commercial airliner carrying 104 passengers ended peacefully Wednesday when five to seven people were taken into custody at Mexico City's airport.

The hijackers -- possibly Bolivians or Colombians -- took control of the Boeing 737 Aeromexico jet as it flew from the resort town of Cancun. They said a cardboard box they were carrying contained a bomb, which they threatened to blow up if their demand to speak to President Felipe Calderon was not met, CNN affiliate TV Azteca said.

The jet was moved to a remote area of the airport, and passengers were allowed to deplane; clutching their hand luggage, they walked slowly down the stairway to the tarmac.

Moments later, the suspects were taken into custody.

"It was very difficult, but the pilot told us to remain calm," said one passenger, who added that many of the other passengers were families returning from vacation in Cancun.

The woman said the hijackers never spoke to them during the 45 minutes they were held.

"We were scared," said another woman. "But it seemed like things got under control when we came down. We were immediately surrounded when we landed by federal police."

The woman, who had been seated in the middle of the plane, said the hijackers were in the front of the plane.

The incident began at 1:40 p.m. (2:40 p.m. ET), as the plane -- Flight 576 -- arrived from Cancun, and ended more than an hour later, slightly before 3 p.m.

Calderon was in the presidential hangar in the airport preparing to depart when the incident began, leading him to cancel his planned flight, the station said.

The-CNN-Wire/Atlanta
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