BBC radio station 5 Live went off the air on Wednesday as the staff at one of the broadcaster’s building was evacuated. The transmission switched to an emergency pre-recorded audio.
Take a look at the moment:
In the middle of a live interview in the ‘Afternoon Edition’ radio show, a fire alarm was activated, causing an evacuation of the complete staff from the broadcast’s studios, which are based in Media City at Salford Quays, Greater Manchester. The transmission suddenly cut out and listeners were left hearing a pre-recorded audio that said: “You’re listening to BBC Radio 5 Live. We’re sorry we can’t bring you the scheduled program at the moment. We’ll return to it as soon as we can.”
Concerned listeners took Twitter to ask what was happening after hearing an evacuation alert in the background of the show.
“My work building is now being evacuated! Stay safe,” BBC radio presenter Natalie-Eve Williams tweeted.
Fellow journalist Kate West shared a video on the social media platform that showed people congregating outside the building. Her caption read: “Update: just BBC Quay House is being evacuated.”
Update: just BBC Quay house is being evacuated. pic.twitter.com/OhufcWtDJD
— Kate West (@Katewest0) May 24, 2017
After a brief moment of confusion, ‘Afternoon Edition’ co-host Nihal Arthanayake sent a tweet explaining that everything was OK and that it was just a false alarm.
False alarm. I will be back on air very soon.
— Nihal Arthanayake (@TherealNihal) May 24, 2017
Time off-air lasted only about ten minutes, and the staff could enter back the building. Co-host Sarah Brett told listeners: “Thank you for bearing here at Media City,” adding, “There is no incident. Everybody is OK and we’re back on air.”
MediaCityUK, owners of the building where the BBC has much of its operations later sent a tweet explaining that the evacuation occurred because of a false fire alarm, but everyone was fine and back to business.
Concerns came after two rough days in Manchester due terrorist attacks
Employees of the BBC radio station, as well as listeners, were highly concerned at the time the alarm went off. The reactions come as natural because during the past two days, Manchester had experienced terrorist threats and attacks, and the U.K. is at a time of high alert.
On Monday, a bomb exploded in an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena. The explosion, caused by a 23-year-old suicide bomber, took place near one of the entries of the arena, killing 22 people and injuring 59.
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017
Later, on Tuesday, Manchester’s central shopping district, the Arndale Center, was evacuated. The cause of the evacuation was a suspicious package carried by a man that was arrested at the place – just hundreds of meters away from where the bomb detonated in the Manchester Arena the day before. However, police did not believe the incident was related to the terror attacks.