Suspected Mexican Drug Cartel Plane Crash Lands on Highway, Bursts Into Flames

An aircraft suspected of being used to carry illegal drugs burst into flames after landing on a highway in southern Mexico on Sunday.

Images and video posted on social media shows the jet aircraft on fire after landing on a highway in the state of Quintana Roo.

The light aircraft was detected by the Mexican military after allegedly flying in from South America.

According to local media, the military later found a van containing more than 850 pounds of cocaine, with an estimated street value of 109 million Mexican pesos ($4.9 million), which is believed to have come from the plane.

"The aircraft, a vehicle and the possible drug were secured and placed at the disposal of the corresponding authorities," a police spokesman told Contacto Hoy.

Reuters reported that the cocaine was packaged into 13 parcels.

The Mexican military said in a statement that the seizure of the cocaine worth millions would have a "significant" impact on criminal organizations, reported Reuters.

Alberto Capella, Secretary of Public Security of Quintana Roo, tweeted a clip of the aircraft on fire.

"07:50 on the Chunhuhub—José María Morelos highway section at Kilometer 61, on the road an aircraft catching fire. Avoid the area please," Capella wrote.

"The registration of the aircraft is apparently XB-RCM and could be related to illegal activities. Federal authorities attending to the investigation."

La matrícula de la aeronave aparentemente es XB-RCM y podría estar relacionada con actividades ilícitas. Autoridades federales atendiendo la investigación.

— Alberto Capella (@kpya) July 5, 2020

In a second video which was tweeted by local media, gun fire can reportedly be heard while the plane is on the highway.

The La Silla Rota site stated on Twitter that the footage was filmed after the plane "landed amid crossfire" on the Polyuc-José María Morelos section.

It is unclear whether the plane burst into flames after it was forced to make an emergency landing on the highway, or if it was purposely set on fire by those flying it before they fled.

There are no reports of any injuries or fatalities as a result of the plane catching fire.

Mexican Broadcaster Milenio reported that the plane had arrived from Maracaibo, Venezuela.

Last month, more than 100 bales of cocaine, weighing in at more than 4,400 pounds—worth more than $40 million—was seized by members of the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard from a boat in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

"This interdiction and drug seizure was a big win for our Navy and Coast Guard team," U.S.S. Preble Commanding Officer Commander Leonardo Giovannelli said in a statement.

"Not only did we flex our sensors and communications suite, but our combat team was able to work across the interagency and contribute directly to a major line of operation with tangible results."

(File photo) Aerial view of the sky with a red hue due to the arrival of the Sahara dust in the Chetumal area on June 24, 2020 in Quintana Roo, Mexico. A jet aircraft suspected of carrying illegal drugs has been destroyed by fire after landing on a highway in Mexico. Medios y Media/Getty