Aeromexico Embraer E190 aircraft hit by gunfire while preparing for takeoff

Markus Mainka /

An Aeromexico Embraer E190 aircraft was caught in the middle of a shootout at Culiacan International Airport (CUL) on January 6, 2023.

Flight AM 165 was bound for Mexico City International Airport and was taxiing on the runway for takeoff when the fuselage of the Embraer ERJ-190LR, registered XA-ALW, was hit by gunfire.

Video footage of scenes inside the plane cabin was uploaded to Twitter, where passengers can be seen cowering on the floor. There were no reports of injuries or casualties from the flight.

Another video clip, which was taken outside the airport runway, shows the aircraft gaining speed for takeoff when it was caught in the middle of the shooting and struck by gunfire.

The shootout occurred shortly after the arrest of Ovidio Guzman-Lopez, son of Mexican cartel kingpin El Chapo. It is believed that the cartel are retaliating against Mexican police and government following Guzman-Lopez’s arrest.

Guzman-Lopez, 32, nicknamed ‘The Mouse’, is believed to be a high-ranking faction leader within his father’s notorious Sinaloa cartel. 

The US Department of State had created an official wanted post for Guzman-Lopez in its Narcotics Rewards Program and offered a $5 million reward for information on his whereabouts. 

Meanwhile, a Mexican Air Force C-295 transport aircraft was forced to perform an emergency landing at Culiacan Airport after the Sinaloa cartel fired at it while flying.

Despite a day of violence, Culiacan Airport reopened a day after the shootout.

Aeromexico released a statement saying: “After this incident, the company’s protocols were activated and an alert was sent to the corresponding authorities, with whom we coordinate the investigations. Customers and employees are safe.”

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