close

News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox


Brazil bus hijacker shot by police; passengers unhurt

At least 16 people were trapped on the bus after it was commandeered by the gunman on a heavily transited bridge connecting Rio with the neighbouring city of Niteroi. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Brazil Aug 20, 2019, 06.18 PM (IST)

A gunman holding a busload of passengers hostage in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday was shot dead by police, local media reported, ending the hours-long hijacking.

Reports said the passengers on the bus were unhurt.

At least 16 people were trapped on the bus after it was commandeered by the gunman on a heavily transited bridge connecting Rio with the neighbouring city of Niteroi.

At least six people - four women and two men - were freed by the gunman who stopped the vehicle on a heavily transited bridge connecting Rio with neighbouring city Niteroi.

Heavily armed police including military and snipers surrounded the bus as they negotiated with the gunman. 

The gunman reportedly boarded the Rio-bound bus at 5:30 am (0830 GMT) and began threatening passengers. 

Several lanes of traffic on the busy Rio-Niteroi bridge spanning Guanabara Bay were paralysed during the hostage situation.

Rio state Governor Wilson Witzel said: "The absolute priority is the protection of hostages." 

The gunman - a young man wearing a white T-shirt and dark-coloured trousers -- poked his head out of the bus at one point, showing his face, footage from local TV channel revealed.

In 2000, a gunman stormed a passenger bus in a fashionable neighbourhood of the city. The hours-long hijacking of bus 174 was later turned into an award-winning documentary. 

The hijacker and one hostage were killed.
 

Story highlights

At least 16 people were trapped on the bus after it was commandeered by the gunman on a heavily transited bridge connecting Rio with the neighbouring city of Niteroi.