Man arrested following Tottenham Court Road Hostage situation
Police have confirmed that they have arrested the man responsible for the stand-off in Tottenham Court Road this afternoon. He was led away by police just after 3pm.
The man, revealed to be Michael Green, had stormed the fifth floor offices of Advantage HGV at midday. The 49-year-old is said to have had grievances with the company, who provide training courses for heavy goods vehicles (HGV), following his three time failure to pass the course.
Tottenham Court Road was evacuated and cordoned off as Green allegedly took four people in the building as hostages.
Furniture and computer equipment was seen being thrown out of the office’s windows, and several witnesses saw the man enter the building with what appeared to be gas canisters strapped to his person, prompting fears of a bomb. According to a witness statement from Abby Baafi, the head of training and operations at Advantage, and one of the presumed targets, Green threatened to blow up the building, saying that he didn’t care about his life, didn’t care about anything and was going to ‘blow up everything’.
Scotland Yard were quick to send a negotiator and the anti-bomb unit to the scene in an attempt to diffuse the situation. Snipers also took up positions on nearby roofs.
Though assured that the situation was not terrorism-related, people were advised to avoid the area. Goodge Street and Warren Street Stations were also closed as a precaution, and eight bus routes were diverted.
Though it has been confirmed that Green is now in police custody, it is not clear if the man gave himself up, or whether police stormed the building. Though police are searching the building, there is not yet any sign of hostages.
A bystander commented: “It sounds like another sign of our times, someone who is at the end of their tether, he has probably been made redundant.”
You can hear an emotional statement from one of the victims here