Meridian Tower Swansea: Taser used in hostage siege

Police vehicles outside the Meridian Tower
Image caption A large police presence outside the Meridian Tower as officers deal with the incident

Police used a Taser to end a siege after an armed man had taken another man hostage in the penthouse restaurant of Wales' tallest building.

Officers confirmed a handgun had been recovered from the Meridian Tower in Swansea and a local man was in custody.

The "hostage situation" was brought to an end by police who used the Taser to subdue the armed man after two hours.

Nobody was seriously injured in the incident at the tower which began at 16:00 BST.

South Wales Police had asked people to stay away from the tower as they dealt with the siege. Armed response officers, the police helicopter and a trained police negotiator were sent to the scene.

Trawler Road and Dunvant Place were closed off at the bottom of the building.

One eye witness who lives in the tower said he saw armed police and paramedics in helmets going inside.

Jason Hole said he was told by police to stay in his flat and not leave.

Image copyright Athena Pictures
Image caption A police cordon was placed around the tower in the marina
Image copyright ATHENA PICTURES
Image caption Police outside the Grape and Olive after the siege
Image copyright Athena Pictures
Image caption The siege took place in the restaurant at the top of the tower

""The whole marina is a cordoned off," he told BBC Radio Wales during the incident.

"There are about 15 police cars and there was a helicopter earlier and armed police are trying to negotiate.

"I went downstairs to leave as I was going back to work and they told us I had to back up the flat because there was a gunman upstairs, or someone had gone into the restaurant with a gun and they'd had to evacuate the building."

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Media captionPolice thanked the public for their support

South Wales Police had asked the public to avoid the area during their operation.

After the incident was over, Supt Andy Kingdom said:"Thankfully this very serious incident ended peacefully with no injuries to anyone involved.

"I'd like to thank my officers for the bravery and professionalism they showed during what was a tense situation."

The Grape and Olive restaurant which is at the top of the tower tweeted: "Restaurant closed due to incident all bookings cancelled sorry for any inconvenience".

A spokesperson for the pub's owner SA Brain said: "Throughout the incident our priority has been the safety of our staff and customers. The situation has now been resolved."

Image caption Police vehicles outside the Meridian Tower in Swansea Marina

Eyewitness Mathew Wilkins said he was first aware of the incident when he heard the police helicopter overhead.

"At about quarter to five I could hear the helicopter overhead, and then five or 10 minutes later it came back again so I took a video of it," he said.

"I saw three police cars going past and a van and I wondered if the city would be put into lockdown," he said.

"I was looking up and down to see if the traffic was moving and then I saw what I thought was an armed response vehicle flying towards the scene."

At 107m (351ft), the tower has become a landmark on the city's skyline since completion in 2009.

The Grape and Olive restaurant on the top three floors of the tower has panoramic views over the city and out across the Bristol Channel and Brecon Beacons.

Michelle and Warren Morgan were at the Marriot Hotel next door celebrating their wedding.

Image caption Michelle and Warren Morgan were having their wedding reception at the Marriott hotel next door

They were told by a hotel concierge that the police had told them no one could leave the hotel for the foreseeable future.

Mr Morgan said: "It's a little bit shocking when you're told you cant go outside. You're not allowed to go anywhere from the hotel."

Spanish football team Villarreal, who are staying at the Marriott ahead of their pre-season friendly against Swansea City on Saturday, were allowed into the hotel but had to walk from their bus on the main road.

Image copyright Dimitris Legakis
Image caption Villarreal players take an alternative entrance to the Marriott hotel