A Scotland Yard negotiator was rushed to the spot this afternoon after a man threatened to blow himself up in a building and started throwing objects from the fifth floor of the building. "Police were called at 11.59 (local time), 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", Scotland Yard said.
The building where news and comments website Huffington Post UK is based had been evacuated. People near the scene reported shots being fired and computers and equipment been thrown out of the windows of the office block, Huffington Post website said. A police spokesman said it was "too early to say if the suspect was armed or indeed had taken any hostages".
"Two men ran into the building and said the man had a flamethrower and canisters of gas. The two men told us they had been let go as they were parents and we were told to leave the building," Tamsin Kelly, who works in a neighbouring building, told the BBC.
Pregnant Abby Baafi, 27, head of training and operations at Advantage, said a man had come into their offices upset after he failed a course and he was now holding four men hostage, The Sun reported. She said he had demanded his money back, adding: "We were in the office. Someone came in. I recognised him because he was one of our previous customers, but hes not quite stable, like mentally stable. Police said they are not treating the incident as terror-related.