BBC Broadcasting House sealed off over 'suspicious van'

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Media captionA robot carries out a controlled explosion on the van

People were stopped from entering or leaving the BBC's Broadcasting House on Monday as police investigated what they said was a suspicious vehicle.

A bomb disposal robot approached the orange van and a number of controlled explosions were carried out.

Roads were closed around the area in central London and BBC staff were advised to stay away from windows.

Police cut open the doors of the van, which was found to contain cardboard boxes and a motor bike.

Image caption Officers spent more than a hour attempting to open the van doors
Image caption A number of boxes were found inside the van

All entrances and exits of New Broadcasting House were closed at around 16:50 BST while police carried out their investigations on nearby Duchess Street, which is to the rear of the BBC's headquarters.

It left some staff unable to return to work - and others unable to leave. The building reopened at 18:30.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Cordons were set up in the streets around the BBC

Scotland Yard said all roads were re-opening.

An AI conference was also taking place at the building at the time.

One participant tweeted it had been a "surreal" afternoon.