A man accused of causing panic at the London’s busiest Charing Cross tube station and falsely claiming to have a bomb was today detained, police said. The 38-year-old man was detained under the Mental Health Act and no weapon was found, they said. There was disruption to the mainline and London Underground services but all are now running normally. The station, which is one of London’s busiest, had re-opened by 08:00 (local time), which was evacuated during the rush hour after the man climbed onto the rail tracks and claimed he had a bomb.
The British Transport Police officers were called “after receiving reports of a man on the tracks claiming to have a bomb”. A spokesperson said: “Officers from the Metropolitan Police and BTP specialist firearms officers also attended. “A 38-year old man was detained by officers and has been held under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act and taken to a place of safety,” the spokesperson said.
Witnesses described several police vehicles descending upon Charing Cross station, through which both overground and underground trains run, where passengers were told to “move away” as the station was evacuated, the Telegraph reported. Scotland Yard said they were called to assist the British Transport Police at Charing Cross train station following a report of a man “acting suspiciously”. “Dozens of armed counter terrorism officers” with “shields and machine guns” were there at the station, the BBC reported.
“Commuters arriving at Charing Cross this morning walked out of the station and into the middle of a massive police operation,” it said. “A cordon was rapidly set up and the station closed but there was no air of panic – most commuters seemed curious rather than unduly concerned. “A man has now been detained by officers and the situation seems to be calming down, the counter terror officers have been pulled away, although there are still several dozen emergency service vehicles here.”