Some members of the public caught up in the evacuation of Birmingham city centre criticised the "total ignorance" of police officers who offered no advice to hotel guests displaced from their rooms for the night.
Peter Hetherington and 11 relatives, all from other parts of the country, were enjoying a family reunion when Saturday?s incident prevented them from returning to their rooms in the Malmaison hotel in The Mailbox.
He said his daughter, who is eight months pregnant, and elderly relatives were told by one police officer to ?find a bar and watch the television? to get information about what they should do.
?I am not criticising the police?s overall action and I recognise the sensitivities but I was stunned by the total ignorance of officers on the ground.
?From the moment we left the Shogun restaurant in The Mailbox to the early hours of the morning when we got to a hotel in Sandwell, we were give no advice and no information.
?Where were we supposed to go? It was only luck that we were able to get a taxi and find this hotel. Other people tried to book in after us and they were full up.
?I have to say the Holiday Inn in Oldbury were very good because they let people sleep over in conference rooms at no charge.
Mr Hetherington added: ?My daughter was close to one of the London bombs on Thursday and she said the police were magnificent on that day.
?The apparent lack of police strategy to deal with people after the bars, restaurants and hotels were emptied last night looks pretty poor by comparison.?
Jason Head, aged 35 from Daventry, said mixed messages were sent by police as to the scale of threat presented to the public and for an hour or so total confusion reigned.
He had just sat down with his partner for a meal in a cafe in Brindleyplace when staff told them to evacuate.
?We expected huge police presence and to be herded in a safe direction.
?But there was not a police officer to be seen anywhere, there was no-one to tell us where to go. People were milling about aimlessly for at least an hour in bathrobes, tuxedos, kitchen uniforms, and there were all the Ben Sherman boys. And you?ve got to remember, people had been drinking.?
He joined scores of other members of the public gathered at the Cenotaph on Centenary Square, waiting for the pubs and clubs to reopen.
?We did not know what was happening and all sorts of rumours were going round,? he said. ?There had been a lot of bravado, but suddenly there was a complete hush. Everyone was looking at the tower and all the glass and thinking about 9/11.?
West Midlands Police were unavailable for comment last night.