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Man threatening to set himself on fire prompts Sydney NSW parliament lockdown

Published time: December 20, 2013 02:08
Edited time: December 20, 2013 06:05
Heavily armed police wrestle to the ground a driver of a car outside the New South Wales Parliament in Sydney on December 20, 2013 (AFP Photo / William West)

Heavily armed police wrestle to the ground a driver of a car outside the New South Wales Parliament in Sydney on December 20, 2013 (AFP Photo / William West)

A man threatening to set himself on fire in a car outside the New South Wales Parliament in Sydney prompted an evacuation of the building. Several hours into the standoff police managed to seize the car and detain the suspect.

The building was put on lockdown after the man parked his car at the front gate around noon local time. While the security operation was underway, the police warned the public to stay away from the area.

Rescuers, ambulances and police reinforcement were brought to the scene while a negotiator was trying to question the man inside the car.

Initially it was reported that the man might have a bomb, with the Daily and Sunday Telegraph reporter Yoni Bashan writing on Twitter that “a man packed the car with explosives, parked outside parliament and remains inside the car,” citing security sources.

Armed police storm a car outside the New South Wales Parliament in Sydney on December 20, 2013 (AFP Photo / William West)

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and Treasurer Mike Baird were ordered to leave the building after tweeting a couple of photos after initial lockdown. O'Farrell however has stayed inside the building. Some reports suggested that the suspect was demanding a meeting with the premier.

The man was reported to have 25 liters of petrol inside the car and was threatening to set himself on fire, according to police sources.

“Fire extinguishers now being bought closer to the man in car who has sparked a massive security operation outside State Parliament,” ABC political reporter Sarah Gerathy tweeted as the story unfolded. Ambulances and high powered water hoses were also brought to the scene of the standoff.

Heavily armed police officers take a man to an ambulance after dragging him from his car outside the New South Wales state parliament building in Sydney December 20, 2013. (Reuters / David Gray)

Heavily armed police officers prepare to drag a man from his car outside the New South Wales state parliament building in Sydney December 20, 2013. (Reuters / David Gray)

Comments (9)

 

Peter Johns 20.12.2013 06:56

This might show the government that you push the people around they will fight back or do stupid things that harm others

 

Darryl Hetherington 20.12.2013 04:27

What!! Aren't we trained enough by America to shoot people who threaten self harm! We have cool cops...

 

Francisco Gonzalez 20.12.2013 04:20

Internet social media and news focus doesn't help mentally ill people. Specially paranoid conspiracy thought can make some hyper deductive bright spirits take off from reality faster. As we are all a bit mad, keep aware.

View all comments (9)
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