A knifeman held the staff of a job centre hostage in northeast England’s Newcastle. Specialist police negotiators have reached the spot to negotiate, said police. Witnesses also reported seeing the man with something strapped to his chest.
There are no reports of any injuries so far and all the hostages have been released but the man concerned is the only person who remains in the building, said Northumbria Police.
The Police has also rubbished social media rumours that some people were stabbed by the knifeman, saying "this is not the case."
The road is closed in both directions and the public is advised to avoid the area. There are reports of a heavy police presence in Byker as the incident is dealt with although at this time it is not clear exactly what has happened.
The Police denied any speculations that it could be a terror attack saying the attacker is known to the Job Centre and the incident is being treated as an isolated incident.
"We want to confirm that at this time there is no information or intelligence to suggest the incident in Byker is terror related," said Police.
Meanwhile, nearby student accommodation has been evacuated and Byker Metro station has been closed.
"Byker Metro station has been closed as we deal with an ongoing situation on Clifford Street. Some roads are also closed. It's an isolated incident," said Northumbria Police. “Police were called to Job Centre Plus, Clifford Street in Byker at around 8 am (Friday, June 9) following reports of a man causing a disturbance."
“Officers have attended and found the man armed with a knife had entered the premises and it is believed that several members of staff are being held there. Several other staff members have left. Police negotiators are at the scene and the roads around the premises have been closed as a precaution.”
#UPDATE Man with knife holding employees hostage at job centre in Newcastle, northeast England, police say, specialist negotiators at scene— AFP news agency (@AFP) June 9, 2017
#BREAKING Knifeman holding hostages at job centre in northeast England: police— AFP news agency (@AFP) June 9, 2017
More details are awaited...