Gunman in Brazil holds 16 bus passengers hostage

21 August, 2019 12:00 AM printer

RIO DE JANEIRO: A gunman is holding as many as 16 bus passengers hostage in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, officials said, as police negotiate with the hijacker to try to end the standoff, reports AFP.

At least six people have been freed so far from the vehicle that is stopped on a bridge connecting Rio with neighboring city Niteroi.

Heavily armed police including snipers have surrounded the bus as they negotiate with the gunman, who G1 news reported is armed with a gun and gasoline.

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

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

A live broadcast of the scene shows five ambulances parked near the bus, receiving hostages as they are released.

The gunman—a young man wearing a white T-shirt and dark-colored trousers—poked his head out of the bus at one point, showing his face, G1 reported.