Cops shut down bustling Tottenham Court Road in central London and evacuated offices and shops when a man claiming to have a bomb reportedly took four people hostage following a dispute over a haulage licence.
Nearby streets were cleared of passers-by as computers and debris began to rain down from the fifth-floor office where the siege was taking place – and Twilight star Campbell Bower and veteran theatre actress Barber were among those caught up in the drama.
In a series of posts on Twitter.com, Barber wrote, “F**k a duck am in middle of hostage sitch (situation) in Tott. ct. Road. Can’t get out. We are all hostage inside. I mean I am not in THE office, but another. All cordoned off. Apparently some lorry driver who failed his HGV (haulage) licence? Gone in to office with big canisters. Police won’t let us out.
“Tott ct rd deserted. All shops, cafes, etc evacuated. Police everywhere. We are not allowed out. To clarify I am NOT in THE office. Just trapped in an office nearby. Police won’t let us out… (They said) that we have to stay inside. Tried to leave but they won’t let us.”
Campbell Bower adds, “At TCR. Just saw what looked like more office equipment coming from window. Police line stopped me from getting closer.”
The siege ended after approximately three hours. A 50-year-old man was arrested.