Gunman Storming Barclays Bank Takes 16 Hostage

A gunman took terrified bank staff and customers hostage yesterday in a three-hour siege reminiscent of a Hollywood blockbuster.

The man stormed into the Barclays bank at 4pm, wielding a sawn-off shotgun and demanding cash. Screaming at stunned staff and customers to 'get down on the floor', the lone gunman took 16 people prisoner in the bank.

In a drama remarkably similar to the film Inside Man, the robber ordered hostages to put on forensic-style white boiler suits to confuse police.

He also forced staff to spray-paint the windows black as armed police swarmed around the bank in Ashford near Heathrow, Daily Mail reports.

Police said they arrested a gunman who took several people hostage at a British bank near London's Heathrow Airport on Monday.

The gunman, believed to be in his 30s, walked into a branch of Barclays Bank in Ashford, about 2 miles (3 kilometers) south of the airport, on Monday afternoon and trapped several people with him inside the building, Surrey Police said.

It isn't exactly clear what happened next: Several witnesses described two groups of customers and staff leaving the building about an hour or so later, although it was not immediately clear whether they escaped or were released by the gunman, BusinessWeek reports.

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