WALES’S tallest building was put into lockdown tonight after a man armed with a gun took another person hostage.
Police were called to the Meridian Tower in Swansea Marina at 4pm after a man was taken hostage inside a public area of the building, by the armed man.
Specialist resources were sent to the tower by South Wales Police including the police helicopter, armed response officers and a trained police negotiator.
After around two hours, a taser had to be used to subdue the man and detain him.
A handgun was also recovered from the scene.
Nobody was seriously injured as a result of the incident.
Superintendent Andy Kingdom, said: “Thankfully this very serious incident ended peacefully with no injuries to anyone involved.
He added that the suspect was a 38-year-old man armed with a weapon that was thought to be a hand gun and genuine.
He said: “He has gone up to the restaurant and just held someone hostage and we have had to deal with that.”
“I’d like to thank my officers for the bravery and professionalism they showed during what was a very tense situation.
“I’d also like to thank the public for the co-operation they have shown throughout.”
A local man is in police custody at Swansea police station.
Diners in the Grape and Olive restaurant were evacuated and residents were told to either remain in their homes or stopped from entering the 29-storey tower in Swansea Marina.
The marina locks were closed to boats and a cordon was put around a number of local roads.
By 5.30pm police had asked anyone near the tower to move out of sight.
The incident ended just after 6.30pm when the cordon was lifted.
By 6.45pm, Jason Hole, who lives on the building’s eighth floor, saw a man he described as being aged around 45, being escorted into a police van.
Diners in the building’s top floor restaurant told the Post they were evacuated at around 4.30pm.
One, who did not want to be named, said: “We were in the restaurant and we were told to stay put by a waiter. I asked what was going on and they said there were reports of a man with a gun.
“A short while later we were ushered out of the restaurant, down the fire escape a couple of flights and in to a lift to the bottom. When we came out there were armed police there and they told us to move away.
A wedding party taking place at the Marriott Hotel was also disrupted.
Michelle Morgans had married her partner Warren earlier in the day and their wedding reception began around noon.
Once the incident began, the wedding party and guests were kept inside the hotel while the police were outside. Mum-of-three Hannah Thomas who lives in the marina was stuck for more than two hours waiting to get into her apartment to pack ahead of a holiday.
She said: “ We are flying tonight and I just hope we can get back in to pick up our suitcases.
She added: “It is all a bit of a nightmare to be honest. We are just keeping our fingers crossed.
“This holiday has been a long time in the making. It’s terrible that it is now at risk through no fault of our own.”