A POLICE bomb disposal team carried out three controlled explosions on a suspicious vehicle outside the BBC’s central London offices.
Metropolitan Police officers were called to Duchess Street in Marylebone, W1, close to New Broadcasting House, at around 3:15pm.
Pictures shared on social media showed a bomb disposal robot heading towards an orange transit van outside the BBC offices.
BBC staff reported hearing three loud blasts as the controlled explosions were carried out.
Duchess Street, Portland Place and Hallam Street were closed to the public while officers placed the area on lockdown.
An internal email urged BBC staff to stay away from the office windows.
Ruth Clegg, the BBC’s disability news producer, tweeted: “Police have just carried out two controlled explosions outside BBC W1.
“Suspect package. Hallam Street cordoned off. Staff told to keep away from windows.”
She added: “Eeeek, a third controlled explosion outside BBC NBH. While I’m outside watching the robots and sniffer dogs.”
Thomas Mackintosh, a journalist at BBC London, tweeted: “Suspicious vehicle outside BBC. Advisory email says move away from the windows.
“Cops now trying to get into the van. Bomb robot chilling.”
Office worker Pam Leader added: “Stuck in my office on Hallam Street in central London, opposite the BBC building.
“Been told to stay in the office at the back of the building until further notice because of a suspicious van.”
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Police were called at about 3:15pm to a report of a suspect vehicle at a premises on Portland Place, W1.
“Specialist officers are in attendance while the vehicle is assessed. Cordons are in place.”
In a tweet, the Metropolitan Police said the incident was stood down at about 6:40pm.
The force wrote: “Police cordons are being removed. Thanks for your patience as officers worked at the location.”