News24

UK highway closes after bus incident

2012-07-05 14:54

London - Armed police closed a section of the M6 highway in both directions on Thursday during a police-led incident involving a bus in central England.

Police said they were not conducting a counter-terrorism operation, but details on the incident at the Weeford toll plaza in the West Midlands, 187km north of London, were sketchy as the morning stretched on.

Britain's Ministry of Defence confirmed it was providing support to the police - including an army bomb disposal team - "under routine military assistance procedures".

Dozens of fire trucks, police and emergency vehicles were on the scene, where the bus was pulled over onto a shoulder of the highway.

Aerial footage showed what appeared to be passengers sitting on the ground in a marked-off square, spaced apart from each other.

Dog handlers roamed about, and someone in a hazardous materials suit was seen entering the bus and searching around the seats with a flashlight.

Megabus, the company that operates the bus, confirmed it was helping police with regard to "an allegation made against a passenger" on one of its buses en route from Preston to London.

It said the bus had 48 passengers booked for travel and was due to arrive at London's Victoria Station at 09:55.

The BBC, citing unidentified sources, reported that the incident involved a passenger who poured a substance into a box, causing fumes.