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Hijackers of Colombian plane surrender, crew released

September 13, 2005 10:37 IST

A wheelchair-bound father and his son hijacked a Colombian airliner carrying grenades, but peacefully surrendered five hours later after allowing the crew and passengers to exit the plane, authorities said.

The 'Aires' airliner had departed the southern city of Florencia when the two men commandeered it, said General Edgar Lesmez, the chief of the Colombian Air Force.

The plane landed in Bogota, the flight's original destination, but at a military airfield next to the capital's civilian El Dorado Airport.

After speaking with government negotiators and a Roman Catholic priest for hours while the twin-propeller plane stood on the tarmac, the two hostages surrendered and came down from the plane, accompanied by government negotiators, said Martin Gonzalez, spokesman for Colombia's Civil Aviation authority.

The crew also exited the plane safely, he said. The two hijackers were arrested and are being questioned by the police, said German Navas, a congressman close to the negotiations.

Speaking to reporters at the airport, Navas said the older one in the wheelchair, a former civil servant, said he decided to hijack the plane because he was angry at the government after not receiving compensation from the state for an injury.

Gonzalez identified the hijackers as Luis Ramirez, about 42 years old, and his son Linsen Ramirez, about 22.

General Alberto Ruiz, chief of operations of the Colombian National Police, said they did not appear to belong to any of Colombia's illegal armed groups.

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