Blast threat at block of flats

CHAOS reigned over a residential street in Colchester yesterday when police swooped on a man who was threatening to blow up a block of flats.

Simon Tomlinson

CHAOS reigned over a residential street in Colchester yesterday when police swooped on a man who was threatening to blow up a block of flats.

The man sparked a stand-off with officers after barricading himself inside his home and turning on the gas in Maple Way at around 4pm.

A cordon was thrown up around the apartment block while residents were shepherded into the street amid fears of an explosion.


You may also want to watch:


Fire and ambulance services were placed on full alert as trained negotiators tried to coax the man out of the building.

The man, whose details are not known, eventually gave himself up and was last night being questioned by police. He had not been arrested.

Most Read

Eye-witness Patricia Emery said people were panicking during the evacuation.

The 64-year-old, who lives in Maple Way, said: “When I got home I thought 'what the hell is going on?' I have never seen so many policemen. It was utter chaos.

“The man had put the gas on and said he was going to blow it up. The explosion could have reached us. I was so scared - you don't know how far the situation is going to go.

“The police didn't want to pressure the man so it took time. How they got him out I don't know.”

Inspector Richard Sage, of Essex police, said officers were called by a member of the public saying that a man was going to harm himself.

He said: “We attended the address, where officers smelt gas, and evacuated nearby residents as a precaution.

“We subsequently negotiated the man out of the premises and he has been taken to a place of safety. He has not been arrested.”

Residents were allowed back to their homes after a gas engineer had declared the building safe.

Officers were last night trying to establish details about the man's state of mind.

A spokesman for Essex police said: “We were informed that this guy was in a bit of trouble and we are looking to get to the bottom of what occurred.

“We persuaded him to get out of the flat, but we need to ascertain why we were called in the first place.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus