A London man with reportedly up to six canisters strapped to his back has sparked a hostage crisis on Tottenham Court Road, where office building were evacuated and a police presence is growing.
Michael Green has reportedly walked into the offices of Advantage, a logistics company which offers HGV courses, threatening to blow himself up before taking four hostages, including the company director and three salesmen.
While his motivations are still unknown, people close to the situation claimed that Green had failed an LGV training course three times and stormed the builing to demand his money back.
A source said the man was not a terrorist and that this was not considered a “serious” incident. “It appears at this stage that the man either has mental health problems or has a personal grievance against a company,” the source said.
Still, the incident has caused a major panic on Tottenham Court Road, were armed policy and fire engines were called to the scene at Shropshire House. Hostage negotiators are believed to be communicating with the suspect by telephone. Police snipers are also taking up positions on nearby rooftops.
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10:34 AM The Telegraph reports that officers are continuing to search the building.
10:08 AM London police have confirmed that a man has been arrested.
10:07 AM The BBC is reporting that a man was seen being led away from the building by police.
9:59 AM The Telegraph is reporting that officers with firearms can be seen positioned on the tops of nearby rooftops.
9:50 AM According to an Advantage employee, "We were in the office and someone came in and we asked him what his name was and he said he was Michael Green. ... He just turned up, strapped up in gasoline cylinders. Basically, he threatened to blow up the office. He said he doesn't care about his life, he doesn't care about anything, he's going to blow up everybody... It was the most terrifying experience of my life."
9:55 AM Reports from the scene: Horrified workers left the building with their hands in the air, and computers and paper are being thrown from the fifth floor window.