Armed police have evacuated around 50 passengers from a coach on the M6 motorway near Lichfield, in the West Midlands. Reports suggest a man on the bus was seen pouring liquid into a smoking bag.
Part of the M6 toll motorway near Birmingham is closed following a “police-led incident”. Officers shut the road, near Birmingham, in both directions between junctions three and four, the Highways Agency said.
It is understood the incident involves a coach which pulled over on to the hard shoulder of the motorway of its own volition. The intercepted coach was a Megabus, which was heading south on the M6 toll road from Preston when it was stopped. Reports suggested a man was seen pouring liquid into a smoking bag on board the coach.
Armed police officers could be seen positioned next to the single-decker coach on the south-bound carriageway, as passengers were led off the vehicle one by one.
Eye-witness Nick Jones, who was stopped on the motorway for more than an hour and a half, told BBC News that police warned him to stay in his car, keep his windows closed and not to use air conditioning.
“I was beginning to feel a little uneasy,” he said. “I was beginning to look around for an escape route.”
A Megabus spokeswoman said: “We are assisting police with their inquiries into an allegation made against a passenger who was travelling on board one of our services.”
A number of emergency service vehicles were parked at the toll plaza, about 200m from the coach. Seven police vans arrived at the scene shortly before 11am.
Pic from scene of on-going incident on M6 toll. Bus is on right hand side 200m in front of toll plaza twitter.com/rupertevelyn/s…
— Rupert Evelyn (@rupertevelyn) July 5, 2012