Page last updated at 19:51 GMT, Thursday, 5 March 2009

Man arrested after armed siege

Officers outside the factory in St Helens
A cordon was set up by police around the factory

A 35-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill and false imprisonment after an armed stand-off at a Merseyside factory.

The man was believed to have entered Alfred H Knight on Prescot Road, St Helens, with a suspicious package.

Armed police, bomb squad officers and dozens of emergency crews surrounded the building on Thursday.

Police said three people were held captive, but no one was injured. The man surrendered to police at 1700 GMT.

Police cordon

The area will remain cordoned off until officers have searched the premises.

Police were alerted to the factory at about 1130 GMT, by a caller saying that a man had been seen with a suspect package.

A Merseyside Police spokeswoman said: "Following the initial report of the incident police engaged the man in negotiations and, within an hour, he released the three people he had held captive in the premises.

"The three released were not harmed during the incident and have spoken with the police."

"The man, who is believed to originate from central Africa, remains in police custody and is currently been questioned by detectives," the spokeswoman said.

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Properties around the factory in St Helens were evacuated



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