Police are now searching the building where the apparent hostage situation took place, though apparently no hostages have been identified so far.

Tottenham Court Road businesses were closed and shoppers evacuated this afternoon following reports a man was throwing computer equipment and office furniture from the fifth floor of a building.

Images being circulated on Twitter demonstrated as such.

A 300m cordon was placed around the area – one of London’s busiest shopping strips – after reports a man wearing gas canisters threatened to blow himself up after storming a building.

 Goodge Street Tube station was also closed as a precaution.

The building in question was thought to be that of Advantage, a company which offers HGV courses.

Police said the man involved was motivated by a grievance against the company.

A hostage negotiator was said to be on the scene.

Rajesh Kalia, of Goodge Law solicitors, works below where the incident took place.

He said: “We were in the office and suddenly we were told by the police that there was some problem in the building and asked to evacuate immediately.

“The police were very clear about the instructions. There was no panic or anything but they were very firm and got everybody out of the building very, very quickly.

“I overheard someone say that there was a man in there with some wires coming out of his jacket.

“Now, I don’t know how much of that is true but that’s the impression they gave us.”

“We heard some shouting in the stairwell and then were asked to leave by the police so I think the police got there pretty quick.”

Police confirmed this afternoon that officers had attended an incident in Tottenham Court Road where an unnamed 49-year-old man was causing a disturbance, and subsequently an arrest was made.

There were no reports of any injuries.