, LONDON, Apr 27 – Police sealed off a busy central London street on Friday after a man took hostages in an office block, but a spokesman said the incident was not terrorism-related.
A police officer told an AFP reporter at the scene: “There is a hostage situation.”
At least a dozen emergency vehicles with lights flashing could be seen blocking off Tottenham Court Road in London, AFP reporters said.
“We were called at 1159 (around 1100 GMT) to an office in Tottenham Court Road. There were reports of a man causing a disturbance. It is alleged that he is throwing items from a fifth floor window,” a Scotland Yard spokeswoman told AFP.
“We have a negotiator on the way to the scene and a 100-metre cordon in place. We do not believe it is terrorism-related.”
The spokeswoman would not comment on reports that the man had gas canisters strapped to his body and was threatening to blow himself up.
Staff at the Huffington Post website, whose offices are nearby, said armed police were at the scene.
The website reported that the man was holding four men hostage in the offices of a company which offers courses on driving trucks.