Police arrested a man after a siege in a central London office building disrupted traffic and forced the evacuation of one of the city’s busiest areas.
The suspect was arrested after a three-hour standoff and a search of the building is underway, said Eddie Townsend, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police, in a phone interview today. The police are unaware of any hostages, he said.
Police were called at 11:59 a.m. U.K. time to an office building on Tottenham Court Road where a man believed to be 49 years old was causing a disturbance, Townsend said. Items including electrical equipment were thrown from a fifth-floor window.
Traffic through the neighborhood was disrupted and as many as two subway stations near the building were closed, the city’s transportation office said on its website.
Snipers and bomb experts were called to the scene around the office complex which houses a heavy goods vehicle company. The suspect, identified as Michael Green, was “angry” he wasn’t issued a license, Sky News TV said, without saying where it got the information.
Students taking exams at nearby colleges and universities were forced to stop for the day and sent home as police in bullet-proof vests and riot gear moved into the area.
The suspect was described by eyewitnesses as having objects strapped to his body that he had identified as gasoline cannisters, Sky said. The British Broadcasting Corp. reported witnesses at the scene said the man had threatened to blow himself up.
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