Armed police seal off street in London siege

2012-04-27 14:29

Armed police have surrounded a building in central London and evacuated part of one of the busiest roads in the capital after reports that a man threatening to blow himself up had taken several office workers hostage.

Police said they had sent a hostage negotiator to the office block and imposed a 300 metre cordon around the building after the man threw computer equipment from a fifth floor window.

Witnesses said the man, aged 49 or 50, had taken four people hostage and had threatened to detonate gas canisters he was carrying. Police had no comment on those reports.

A source said the incident was not terror-related and was thought to involve a man who had a grievance against a company.

Police in the capital are on alert as the city prepares to host the Olympic Games and celebrate the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s reign this summer.

One office worker said she had been inside the office block when the man arrived and threatened staff.

“He turned up, strapped up with gasoline cylinders, and threatened to blow up the office,” Abby Baafi (27), said in a video clip posted on the website of The Huffington Post, the US news website that has offices in the area. Staff from the company were among those evacuated.

“He said he doesn’t care about his life. He doesn’t care about anything.”

Hundreds of people were evacuated from the scene, a busy area of shops and office blocks close to the University of London and the British Museum.

Television footage showed police armed with rifles on the roofs of nearby buildings and a long line of police cars, ambulances and fire engines in the street below.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.