Update 10:30am: All the hostages held by a man armed with a knife at a Job Centre Plus in Newcastle are believed to have been released, Northumbria Police said.
Nearby accommodation had been evacuated.
Naveed Ahmed, who owns a nearby fruit shop, said he saw a number of police cars arriving into the area shortly after he opened up at 8am.
The 29-year-old, who runs Byker Fruiterers, said: "There are about 10 or 11 police cars now and there are armoured officers surrounding the job centre."
About two and a half hours after the incident began, Northumbria Police said:
"It is believed that all the hostages have been released and that the man concerned is the only person who remains in the building."
Earlier: A man armed with a knife is believed to be holding several members of staff at a Job Centre Plus in Newcastle, Northumbria Police has said.
Police were called to Clifford Street, Byker, at around 8am this morning following reports of a man causing a disturbance at the Job Centre Plus.
Officers have attended and found a man armed with a knife had entered the premises and it is believed that several members of staff are being held there. Several other staff members have left.
Specialist negotiators are at the scene and the roads around the premises have been closed as a precaution.
Police dealing with an incident in Byker. Roads around the Clifford Street area are closed with local diversions in place.— Northumbria Police (@northumbriapol) June 9, 2017
Nearby student accommodation has been evacuated and Byker Metro station has been closed, and no trains are passing through Byker as a precaution.
Police are currently dealing with an incident in Byker. As a precaution Byker Metro station is closed and no trains are passing thru Byker.— Northumbria Police (@northumbriapol) June 9, 2017
Police are currently dealing with the incident but there are no reports of any injuries at this time.
It is believed the man responsible is known to the job centre and this is being treated as an isolated incident at this stage.
Thank you for your patience as we deal with the incident. Nobody is believed to be injured and we're currently speaking to the man involved.— Northumbria Police (@northumbriapol) June 9, 2017