Snipers, explosive experts and a police negotiator are attending a potential hostage situation at Tottenham Court Road in central London.
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There are reports that four people have been taken hostage at a building in one of the busiest parts of the capital.
The 50-year-old man is reported to be angry he did not get an HGV Licence.
He walked into the building about midday saying he had nothing to live for.
Police were called when the man was throwing computers, furniture and paper from the fifth floor of the building, called Shropshire House.
He is said to have a gas cannister tied to him and reportedly threatened to blow himself up.
The police negotiator has made contact with the man, but objects are being still being thrown from the window.
Police say they know the identity of the man, and have confirmed it is not a terrorist incident.
Earlier, people near the scene reported shots being fired.
Armed police are at the scene and the area, usually a busy shopping area, is at a standstill.
Explosives search dogs are also at the scene.
Hundreds of people have been evacuated from surrounding buildings.
A 350-yard police cordon was in place from Store Street to the south of the incident.
Staff from news website The Huffington Post UK were among those evacuated.
Huffington Post UK executive editor Stephen Hull posted a video on Twitter of an office worker who saw the man enter the building.
Abby Baafi, 27, the head of training and operations at Advantage, a company which offers HGV courses, told Mr Hull 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. He 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.”
Chris Vincent, who was in the building opposite, told Sky News: “We had heard a couple of loud bangs, they were pretty loud shocks.
“When I looked across I could see people throw things out of the window. It looked like three or four people were doing it.
“The road had been closed by that point, There was a big space where everything was landing.”
Joaqam Ramus, who works at nearby Cafe Fresco, said: “All Tottenham Court Road is closed and so are we – the police told us to shut.
“We don’t know what it is but it seems someone has a hostage.”
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