A man was found in a car in Birmingham today with his hands bound and "canisters" surrounding his body.
West Midlands Police said the man was spotted by a passing lorry driver on a road in an industrial area of Birmingham at about 10.20 this morning.
Police, fire crews, an Army bomb disposal team and trained negotiators were called to the scene in Saltley.
Chief Superintendent Tom Coughlan said it was unclear whether the man was there of his own accord or if he was a victim of a crime. He said it was also not clear yet whether he was conscious.
A 500-metre police cordon was put up around the area and nearby factories were evacuated.<br /><small><a href="http://www.google.com/maps?f=q&source=embed&hl=en&geocode=&q=landor+street,+birmingham&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=31.150864,79.101563&ie=UTF8&ll=52.489732,-1.866732&spn=0.011682,0.038624&t=h&z=14&iwloc=A&layer=c&cbll=52.482837,-1.865684&panoid=SQyTrLYjqF4Z8a9i6vp0XA&cbp=12,288.4640976537204,,0,5" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small> <p>Chief Supt Coughlan said: "Inside the vehicle his hands seem to be bound and his body seems to be surrounded by what is being referred to at the moment as a number of canisters."</p> <p>The two-door car was parked on the junction of Clarel Avenue and Landor Street. The man was positioned in the front of the car with about half a dozen beer-sized gas canisters around his abdomen, police said.</p> <p>When asked if the canisters were thought to be explosives, Chief Supt Coughlan said it was not yet known.</p> <p>He said: "We do not know what we are dealing with at this stage. We are unsure whether this man is conscious or unconscious. This man has yet to be identified</p> <p>and we are unsure at the moment exactly what the motive is for him to be there.</p> <p>"We are doing all that we can at the moment to resolve this situation as safely as possible.</p> <p>Up to 15 people working in factories in the area, which is mainly industrial, were evacuated.</p> <img id="_91f8eeb1-9c88-49a5-9ef9-2b8ae7eb437e" src="https://i2-prod.birminghampost.co.uk/incoming/article3895337.ece/binary/saltley-canister-931985773.jpg" alt="saltley-canister-931985773.jpg" /> <p>A nearby railway line was closed and a no-fly zone put in place.</p> <p>Chief Supt Coughlan added: "We cannot rule out any motive at this stage. EOD (Explosives Ordnance Disposal) and trained negotiators are at the scene to assist with the operation. Enquiries have been conducted to identify the registered keeper of the vehicle. However at this stage this has not led officers to an identification of the man inside the car.</p> <p>"For the safety of the public a 500 metre cordon has been put in place, which involves a small number of residential addresses being evacuated, the Wheels Adventure Park being closed to the public and local roads being closed.</p> <p>"The street is largely surrounded by industrial premises, mainly scrapyards."</p> <img id="_e0d444ea-eb78-4453-8e19-be6e8a84f261" src="https://i2-prod.birminghampost.co.uk/incoming/article3895338.ece/binary/saltley-bomb-squad-495788851.jpg" alt="saltley-bomb-squad-495788851.jpg" /> <p>The railway line closure was affecting the West Coast Mainline between Birmingham New Street and Birmingham International stations. <br />Those evacuated were offered shelter at the Saltley Leisure Centre.</p> <p>Councillor Ayoub Khan, cabinet member for community safety at Birmingham City Council, said an eye witness had told him that the man in the car was of Asian origin and aged in his 30s.</p> <p>Mr Khan said: "He said he saw foam coming out of the man's mouth and said he was unconscious.</p> <p>"It seems that this man is a victim rather than the assailant. He said he could see some bottles tied to him or something like that."<br /></p>