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Shooting at the BVC Airport

Barthe Cortes Shot!  



October, 2008
By Sonya Mbugua
 
Barthe Cortes


It was a late evening, when the control tower at Wilson Airport received an announcement from the pilot of an unidentified plane who was requesting express permission to land due to technical reasons. All runways were occupied at the time and the traffic controller could do nothing but direct the plane to the nearby BVC airport. Then he informed the BVC that they should soon expect a plane. On that evening BVC´s owner Barthe Cortes and three people from the night shift were at the airport. When the plane was taxiing, Cortes was standing together with Onyulo, an air mechanic, on the apron. Onyulo reports, "It wasn´t a big plane. When it had stopped, we were no more than 15 meters away from it. We were standing there for a moment, but there was nothing going on, no one opened the plane door, no one got off the plane - it was a bit strange. Then Barthe came up to the plane and I was overwhelmed by an eerie sense of threat. But I followed him. When Barthe stood by the plane, the door opened at the same time. Two men appeared in the doorway. One was pressing a gun against the temple of the other and was screaming something in an unfamiliar language. Then Barthe said something like "Well, we have another nut smuggler". I can´t remember whether he said that to me or to himself. "Everything was going on so fast," - adds Onyulo and continues his story, "That man didn´t stop screaming until at one point he moved the gun away from the temple of the other and pointed at Barthe. He fired a shot and I heard a rumble. I remember that I thought that could not be happening for real, but it was! I saw Barthe falling on his knees on the apron. With one hand he was holding on to the apron, he was holding the other one near his stomach and then I saw that his palm and shirt were covered in blood. I got to him in one leap and wanted to help, but he pushed me away telling me to hide under the plane, which probably saved my life, ´cause after a moment the assailant shot again at Barthe. I am sure that that bullet was for me. Then I heard a third shot, that time the assassin shot at himself, his body fell on the apron just one meter away from me. There was so much blood", adds Onyulo, who was still shaking even though many days had passed since that incident. The assailant´s identity still remains unknown. In all likelihood, he hijacked the plane with the pilot in Guinea Brissou. On board the police found 400 kilograms of drugs. Barthe Cortes is in very serious condition. The kindapped pilot is feeling fine and he is now being questioned by the police.

 
 
 

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