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Brazil: end of hostage taking on a bus in Rio, kidnapper arrested

A hostage crisis that held Brazil in suspense for three hours on Tuesday ended with the release of 17 passengers from a bus sequestered in the bus station in Rio de Janeiro by a kidnapper who surrendered to the police, after injuring him. two people shot.

“The hostage taker has surrendered, he has been arrested, all the hostages have been released, they are safe,” Marco Andrade, a colonel in the military police, told journalists, without giving details of the motivations of the hostage. kidnapper.

The hostages, among whom were children and elderly people, are safe and sound but two people were shot and injured by the kidnapper “at the exterior” of the bus, he had indicated earlier.

Brazil: end of hostage taking on a bus in Rio, kidnapper arrested

Evacuation of the Novo Rio bus station in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), where an armed man took passengers hostage on a bus, March 12, 2024 © AFP – Pablo PORCIUNCULA

Hit by three shots in the chest and abdomen, a 34-year-old man is in serious condition and had to undergo emergency surgery, explained Daniel Soranz, head of municipal health services . The other victim was less seriously injured.

“Exemplary action of the security forces of Rio de Janeiro”, praised the governor of the State of Rio, Claudio Castro, on the X network.

The hostage-taking began around 3:00 p.m. local time (6:00 p.m. GMT) in this large bus station in the center of Rio, from where coaches depart serving many regions of Brazil. Major local media followed it live.

The GloboNews channel showed images of the freed hostages getting out of a blue bus, looking frightened, including a young woman carrying a baby in her arms. Other footage showed the moment the kidnapper, dressed in green Bermuda shorts and a pink t-shirt, was placed in the back of a police van by officers.

– Tragic episode in 2000 –

The greatest confusion reigned after the start of the hostage-taking at the time of the evacuation of the site, through which 38,000 passengers pass every day, according to the station's official website.

“A man drew a gun, started shooting and entered the bus. I have two friends on this bus, everyone is desperate, we don't know what will happen,” a witness told the GloboNews microphone.

Brazil: end of hostage taking on a bus in Rio, kidnapper arrested

Police officers stand guard in front of the Novo Rio bus station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where an armed man took passengers on a bus hostage, March 12, 2024 © AFP – Pablo PORCIUNCULA

Police later claimed that the bus station had been completely evacuated and an AFP journalist noted that there was no one left inside, passengers having had to cancel their trips being massed outside.

In 2000, a hostage-taking of bus passengers in a residential area left two people dead. The episode was broadcast for hours live on television, causing immense excitement, and inspired a film, “Parada 174”.

More recently, in 2019, a man was killed by the police after holding around thirty bus passengers hostage on the huge bridge linking Rio de Janeiro to the town of Niteroi, a nerve center of traffic in the region.< /p> All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116