Friday, April 27, 2012

Armed siege in London after man storms office

Part of Tottenham Court Road in London has been cordoned off after a man stormed the offices of Advantage Logistics and began throwing objects from the fifth floor.

The 50 year old man burst into the offices apparently with a grievance over not being given an HGV licence. One employee, Abby Baafi said she recognised the man from previous visits and described him as "not quite stable".

She said the man, she named as Michael Green, had gas cylinders strapped to his body and has told people in the office that he had nothing left to live for. He was "willing to blow everybody up", she told the Huffington Post UK Executive Editor, Stephen Hull  [video: YouTube].

Talking to LBC 97.3 Hull said he had spoken to Abby sometime later and said she was very shaken and was being comforted by police. According to some conversations she had overheard the police were discussing "taking him out" and that it was believed there were no hostages remaining in the building.  The Metropolitan Police will only say that the man had a grievance against the company and that officers were trying to talk him down.

Police have sealed off a large area to traffic and pedestrians and marksmen have stationed themselves on roofs of nearby building. Meanwhile the man has been seen throwing computer equipment and papers out of the building, Shropshire House in Tottenham Court Road. Some reports indicate that other employees in the building were being forced by the man to participate in throwing objects from the windows.

First reports of the incident first surfaced on Twitter and quickly spread before being picked up by news organisations. Sky News were the first broadcaster to break the news bringing constant updates from the scene, and were the first to transmit live from the scene via their news helicopter. The BBC have also covered events, though not as extensively as their rival network [Sky / BBC].

tvnewswatch, Loondon, UK

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