Armed police in a five-hour stand-off on a mobility scooter outside the Halfelex Bank in Blackpool, with a man pouring petrol inside.
A massive emergency service response was launched today (September 28) following an incident at the Halifax branch on Church Street just after 2 p.m.
Church Street, St. John’s Square and Cedar Square and members of the public are advised to avoid the area this evening.
This afternoon, more than a dozen shops, including M&S, Ledbrooks, Nandoz and Greggs, closed and evacuated other nearby buildings.
A Blackpool police spokesman said in a statement tonight: “Emergency services are still at Blackpool’s Hal Lefex Bank. We continue to tell people to avoid the area if possible.”
Extensive social media reports of the hostage situation involving the bank manager were rejected by the force, confirming that all bank staff had left the building.
The offender remains inside the bank when police enter his sixth hour.
Police, fire and ambulance crews have teamed up with electrical northwest and cadet gas engineers.
No injuries have been reported so far.
After 7.15 pm, gas engineers were seen entering and leaving the bank.
It was not immediately clear if the stand-off was complete and we are awaiting police confirmation.
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