Flyers Crouch Below Seats, Child Cries As Gunfire Rages Outside

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Flyers Crouch Below Seats, Child Cries As Gunfire Rages Outside

Aeromexico officials said no one was injured on the flight.

Mexico City:

“It’s an attack plane, dad,” said one of David Tellez’s young children as they watched the Mexican military plane touch down next to their Aeromexico passenger plane.

Then the shooting started.

“As we were accelerating for take-off, we heard gunshots very close to the plane, and that’s when we all threw ourselves on the floor,” Tellez said after the incident in the northern city of Culiacan.

Violence erupted across Culiacan on Thursday after the arrest of Ovidio Guzman, son of the notorious drug lord known as El Chapo, and a senior member of the Sinaloa cartel.

Aeromexico said no one was injured on Tellez’s flight. The Culiacan airport was soon closed, as security forces patrolled the city, which was littered with burning vehicles, trying to contain the violent reaction.

Tellez, 42, was traveling with his wife and children, ages 7, 4 and 1, after spending Christmas with family.

He arrived at the airport on an 8:24 a.m. flight without incident, despite encountering roadblocks after overnight gunfire, he told Reuters. Although Guzman’s arrest has yet to be confirmed, nervous security guards urged travelers to enter quickly.

“The authorities are not saying anything,” he said by phone.

Tellez hid in an airport bathroom with his family after hearing gang members were at the airport. The rumors proved false, and Aeromexico travelers quickly boarded.

Nevertheless, as flight AM165 was about to take off for Mexico City, a succession of military aircraft landed on the airstrip.

Tellez pulled out his cellphone, recording several videos showing two large Air Force transport planes, smaller, fighter-like attack planes and military trucks on the tarmac. Then gunshots echoed in the distance.

A video circulating on social media appears to capture the same incident, with passengers kneeling under their seats as a baby cries.

A flight attendant said the engine was hit, causing the leak. The crew ordered the passengers to disembark, taking them to a windowless waiting room at the airport.

It is unclear who shot whom.

Tellez’s family plans to board another flight Friday, but is staying put until then.

“We prefer to stay at the airport until it’s safe to leave,” he said. “It’s worse in the city. There’s a lot of shooting and confusion.”

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and appeared on a syndicated feed.)

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