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Four people taken hostage in London

United Kingdom,Terrorism, Fri, 27 Apr 2012 IANS

London, April 27 (IANS) At least four people were reportedly taken hostage Friday in a central London area, following which snipers, explosive experts and a police negotiator reached the spot to tackle the crisis situation, Sky News reported.


The incident took place at Tottenham Court Road. Hundreds of people have been evacuated from surrounding buildings.


Reports said four people were taken hostage by a man at a building in one of the busiest parts of the British capital.


The man was reported to be "angry" as he did not get a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) licence. He reportedly walked into the building saying he had nothing to live for.


Police were called when the man was throwing computers, furniture and papers from the fifth floor of the building, called Shropshire House. He is said to have a gas cannister tied to him.


Armed police and a dog squad also reached the scene.


People near the scene reported shots being fired.


Police have confirmed it was not a terrorist incident. They said a man was "causing a disturbance and criminal damage at an office building".


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 was currently holding four men hostage.


In a video posted on YouTube, she said: "What happened is, we were in the office and someone came in. We asked him what his name was and he said it was Michael Green. I recognised him because he was one of our previous customers but he is not quite stable - mentally stable. He turned up, strapped up with gasoline cylinders, and threatened to blow up the office."


"He said he doesn't care about his life. He doesn't care about anything, he is going to blow up everybody. He was specifically looking for me but I said 'My name's not Abby' and he let me go."


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