A jetliner carrying 43 people on a domestic trip disappeared 25 minutes into the flight. Airline officials differed over whether the plane might have crashed or been hijacked.

A newspaper report, quoting police, said "criminals linked to drug traffickers" had hijacked the Venezuelan airliner Tuesday. However, officials expected to resume the search Wednesday.The twin-engine, DC-9 of the Aeropostal line was making a 135-mile flight from the oil center of Maracaibo to Santa Barbara del Zulia, another oil city in western Venezuela. The trip normally takes 35 minutes.

All those aboard, including the five crew, were believed to be Venezuelans.