BUNBURY, Western Australia - Police negotiators are attempting to end a siege that has lasted nearly 12 hours in the Western Australian city of Bunbury involving a man reportedly armed with explosives, media reports said on Thursday.
Police on Thursday evening sealed off an area in Bunbury known as Koombana Bay, a popular family and tourist spot, the ABC news website reported. Bunbury is located 175km south of Perth.
Police have remained tight-lipped about the identity of the man at the centre of the stand-off, according to a report in The West Australian website. It said that heavily armed police were at the scene.
"We have concerns for one person in the vicinity of this man, who we are trying to negotiate with," the site quoted WA Police spokesman Sam Dinnison as saying.
"Members of the Tactical Response Group are on the site and they are dealing with the situation."
He did not say whether the man was armed with explosives, or the number of hostages involved.
No details were also provided on what the man's demands were. He urged the public to avoid the area.
According to The West Australian, it is believed the hostage is not known to the man.
Police have sent a bomb-handling robot towards the man who claims to have explosives as he sits with another man in the park on Koombana Drive, Bunbury, it said, adding that a female police negotiator has pleaded with the hostage taker - referred to as David - to end the siege peacefully.
Along with the explosives claim, the man has also made a banner stating a message, said The West Australian.
Ambulance officers, firefighters and an armoured police vehicle were on the scene, ABC news reported.
"The area is closed off to the public and specialist units are on site assisting," the news website cited a police statement as saying.
Australia's News.com.au website reported that images taken by reporters showed a man wearing a black hooded top and a figure in the background at the scene of the hostage-taking.
A sign had been erected, believed to be a demand, saying "POLICE RELEASE BATTY ARCHIBALD CCC REPORT".
The News.com.au website said the sign appeared to be a demand that the Western Australia Crime and Corruption Commission release a report.