British news studio evacuated on air, no explanation

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Mid-way through a live broadcast Wednesday, BBC Radio 5 Live went off air and ran emergency pre-recorded audio following an evacuation of the studio.

After hearing an evacuation alert just before 2 p.m. in the background of Afternoon Edition, anxious listeners took to Twitter to voice their concern since the incident followed the terror attack in Manchester on Monday.

Show hosts Sarah Brett and Nihal Arthanayake were interviewing a guest when an alarm sounded and the evacuation was ordered. After announcing their departure, a prerecorded message 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.”

One Twitter user posted: “Just listening to Radio 5 Live when alarms sounded and presenters said they had to evacuate. Hope all is okay.”

Another said: “BBC Radio 5 Live studios have just been evacuated live on air. Hopefully nothing serious.”

BBC radio host Natalie-Eve Williams confirmed the evacuation on Twitter with a post that read: “My work building is now being evacuated! Stay safe.”

A video posted by journalist Kate West showed people gathering outside the building. Her caption said: “Update: just BBC Quay House is being evacuated.”

Afternoon Edition returned to air approximately 10 minutes later.

Brett told listeners, “Thank you for bearing with us. It was a fire alarm in case you’re just joining us and everybody evacuated the building here at Media City. There is no incident. Everybody is okay and we’re back on air.”

Brett reconfirmed the message later in the show, saying, “Thank you for bearing with us during that tape. We are back in the studio and all is very well.”

MediaCityUK posted a tweet saying: “There has been a fire evacuation at Quay House where BBC 5 Live is based. False alarm, everyone is now back inside safely, business as usual.”

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