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Man Seizes Small Plane At Military Airport Near PretoriaAired February 27, 2001 - 11:15 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Right now, we want to get to the latest from the breaking story that we have out of South Africa this morning.
Let's go now to Charlayne Hunter-Gault. She is reporting live now from, I believe, Pretoria -- Charlayne.
CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I'm speeding towards Pretoria. This is Wonderbrook (ph) Air Base which is on the other side of Pretoria, where there is a gunman holding at least nine hostages on what we believe is a DC-3 aircraft.
This man, whoever he is, forced his way on to this plane using stun grenades. There had been a total of four shots fired. A police spokesman says all stun grenades.
He has made no demands other than for jet fuel for this plane, which it seems as if he's planning to try to take somewhere.
The police spokesman just said that the airport personnel are struggling to get the equipment together. At the same time, he says there are a number of well-trained people on the plane who are trying to speak to the gunman. But that he is very reluctant to speak.
He's also been described as being very aggressive. It's difficult to know anything else about this man because apparently the police have surrounded the plane. No one can see either the plane or most of the activity around the plane.
There's one reporter who has been on the scene since -- almost since the beginning of this. The police are heavily armed, and are keeping everyone, including the media, at a distance. They say because of the aggressive nature of this man, at the same time, people have been rushing to the scene, perhaps curious to see what's happening. And the police are very concerned, asking people not to come to this scene, because they are bringing emergency vehicles, ambulances and so on to the scene. And the national police commissioner and his deputy are speeding there.
Earlier, as this story was breaking, people were calling in, saying that this was simply a training exercise. But none of the reports that we've heard from the scene bear that out.
HARRIS: That was our Charlayne Hunter-Gault, our Johannesburg bureau chief there, reporting. She's on her way to that site, I guess it's in Pretoria or near Pretoria, where a military aircraft has been hijacked there. There's a -- actually, there's a hostage situation there that is unfolding.
And we thank you for that, Charlayne. And we apologize for that. You know how cell phones work. She probably was driving in and out of the cell area.
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