There’s a tense situation in central London today as thousands of office workers around Tottenham Court Road were evacuated following a bomb threat.
The Telegraph reports that a man named Michael Green had walked into a building and taken four people hostage. He is reported to have 6 canisters strapped to him.
The company inside the building offers training on how to drive long and heavy vehicles — Green reportedly wants his money back after failing the course three times.
The adjacent building also houses the offices of the Huffington Post UK, who were able to talk to a witness inside the building who told them:
“He just turned up, strapped up in gasoline, gasoline cylinders. Basically he threatened to blow up the offices. Says he doesn’t care about his life, doesn’t care about anything.”
Videos appear to show flat screen televisions being thrown out of the windows of the building:
The Guardian reports that armed police are now on the scene.
UPDATE: The BBC reports that a 49-year-old man has been arrested.
In a statement this afternoon, Commander Mak Chishty said: “We were called at midday to reports of a man causing a disturbance on Tottenham Court Road. He was located on the 5th floor of the building at No. 179.
“Items were thrown from the window onto the street below.
“We were concerned that he may have explosive materials or flammable liquids with him. Our immediate concern was for the safety of the people inside the building and for the general public in the vicinity. “Specialist Metropolitan Police negotiators were called to the scene, with colleagues from London Ambulance Service, London Fire Brigade, and specialist firearms officers.
“During the course of the incident a number of people who were inside the building left peacefully. “After contact with our specialist police negotiators the man came out of the building, and was arrested at 15.00hrs. He is now in police custody.
“We are currently searching the premises to ensure that they are safe, and will begin a process of returning the area to normality as soon as possible.
“We would like to thank the local community, the business community and yourselves [the news media] for their co-operation this afternoon.”
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