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TCR Siege: Man Arrested After Tottenham Court Road Standoff

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A man has been arrested after a three-hour siege which led to one of the busiest roads in central London being closed off.

Police said: "We have made an arrest. A man has been arrested and a search of the buildings is underway. The cordon around the area will be removed in due course. There are no indications of hostages involved."

Police evacuated office buildings and sent a negotiator to Tottenham Court Road, central London, after a man, reported to be wearing gas canisters, stormed into an office and threatened to blow himself up. He was reported to be 50-year-old Michael Green.


A shirtless man, believed to be Michael Green, is led away from the scene by police

The Met police's Mak Chishty told journalists police were concerned he had "explosive materials": "We were called at midday to reports of a man causing a disturbance on Tottenham Court Road. He was located on the fifth floor at the building on number 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 population in the vicinity. Specialists metropolitan police negotiators were brought to the scene with colleagues from the London Ambulance Service, the London Fire Brigade and specialist firearms officers. During the course of the incident a number of people who were inside the building left the vicinity.

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"After contact with our specialist police negotiators the man came out of the building and was arrested at 3pm this afternoon. He is now in police custody. We are currently searching the premises to ensure that they are safe and will begin the process of returning the area to normality as soon as possible."

Asked about what police said to the man he said he would not go into detail. "It was a local man, the matter was quite local."

Abby Baafi, 27, the head of training and operations at Advantage, a company which offers HGV courses, said the man had targeted her offices and had held four men hostage. She told The Huffington Post UK: "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."

"He was specifically looking for me but I said 'My name's not Abby' and he let me go."

Baafi said the man had failed the HGV training course and wanted his money back.


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Pictures emerged of computer and office equipment being thrown through one of the office windows.

The scare sparked a major security alert, with Tube stations closed, businesses evacuated and one of the capital's busiest shopping streets shut.

TVs being thrown outside the window of the offices

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Huff Post UK staff have been allowed back in, things seem to be winding down. We'll bring you more details on this blog as an when we have them.

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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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Police said: "We have made an arrest. A man has been arrested and a search of the buildings is underway. The cordon around the area will be removed in due course. There are no indications of hostages involved."

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@ metpoliceuk : We have arrested a man at Tottenham Court Road. A search of the building is underway. Further details to follow #TCR

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Sky reporting a man has been arrested

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Rajesh Kalia, of Goodge Law solicitors, who works two floors below where the incident was unfolding in Shropshire House, relived the drama.

The lawyer said: "We were in the office and suddenly we were told by the police that there was some problem in the building and asked to evacuate immediately.

"The police were very clear about the instructions. There was no panic or anything but they were very firm and got everybody out of the building very, very quickly.

"I overheard someone say that there was a man in there with some wires coming out of his jacket.

"Now, I don't know how much of that is true but that's the impression they gave us.

"They mentioned something about a flame-thrower, the jacket and wires coming out of it, and that's about it.

"We're two floors below where this was happening.

"We heard some shouting in the stairwell and then were asked to leave by the police so I think the police got there pretty quick."

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@ skymarkwhite : Eyewitness tells Sky News 3 people led from stand-off building #tcr claiming there was still a person inside with man at centre of siege

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"We've been pushed all the way back to Euston road. There are maybe 50 people here by the police cordon. Earlier there were just 100s of people floating around in front of the cordon. They've shut all the underground stations near here."

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@ itn : LONDON SIEGE: Aerial footage captures the reported hostage situation taking place on Tottenham Court Road. #TCR http://t.co/72tzxlSM

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@ skymartinbrunt : #siege Source says on serious scale of 1 to 10 this is a 9.

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Police did not confirm or deny there were any snipers at the scene, saying: "It's not a matter than we ever discuss but we always deploy appropriate police resources to any incident."

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@ MPSCamden : Warren Street and Goodge Street Tube Stations are currently closed due to on-going incident in Tottenham Court Road #TCR

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A Met police spokesperson said: "We are in attendance in Tottenham Court Road... There is a 300m cordon in place. The negotiator is on the scene. It's unclear at this stage if there are any other people in the building. There's nobody that's reported any injuries at this time but the incident is ongoing."

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@ KevinJRawlinson : Just spoken to an eyewitness who said he saw a sniper go into a nearby building. I can see a marksman on a roof at Tottenham Court Road #tcr

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@ SophyRidgeSky : RT @skymartinbrunt #siege Suspect is Michael Green, 50, with grudge against someone in the building. Police talking to him by telephone #TCR

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Abby Baafi, who came face to face with the 'bomber' in Tottenham Court Road has said police have told her they fear he could "blow the building up."

The 27-year-old office worker spoke to The Huffington Post UK, saying she was in a cafe with police officers. She said there were no longer any hostages and her colleagues were safe, although police have yet to confirm this.

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@ CarlaBuzasi : “@sherrifflucy: Police suggesting man may not be working alone #TottenhamCourtRoad”

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@ BBCTomEdwards : Goodge st tube shut #tcr

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@ metpoliceuk : Items have been thrown out of a 5th floor window.There are no reported injuries and it's unclear if other people in the building. #TCR

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@ DavidHobbsDH : Police sniffer dogs running around near Goodge St Station, checking everything included stranded double decker - the no 24. #tcrbomb #tcr

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The woman who witnessed the bomber.

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@ metpoliceuk : A 300m cordon has been put in place and a negotiator is on scene. We advise people to keep clear of the area due to congestion. #TCR

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Lucy Sherriff, reporter at the scene says they have been pushed back to Euston Road.

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@ jacquelinehead : Ambulances block road near ucl hospital - main building seems unaffected #TCRbomb http://t.co/28q4njn9

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@ michaelrundle : Man evacuated from Fitness First still in kit: 'They said just leave... we saw officers run towards us with sniper rifles '. #tcr

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Police were called at 11.59 today, Friday 27 April, to an office building on Tottenham Court Road to reports of a man causing a disturbance.

The man has been throwing items out of a fifth-floor window.

A 100m cordon has been put in place.

A negotiator is on route to the scene.

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@ skymarkwhite : Helicopter Pics on Sky News show man involved in Tottenham Crt Rd stand-off continuing to throw objects from 5th floor building #tcr

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