Frightened bingo players caught up in an armed police incident in Bradford say they are “reliving the scene” in their minds today.

Police were called to Buzz Bingo - formerly Gala Bingo - on Tong Street around 7.35pm following reports of men carrying weapons.

West Yorkshire Police said it understood three men ran into the venue saying that they were being chased by men armed with a gun.

A new image has emerged showing a smashed up car left by the bingo hall's entrance - damage that police believe was caused by a brick.

No one was found with a weapon, nor was there any evidence of a firearms discharge, the force said.

Bingo players who watched the scene unfold mid-game have shared eye witness accounts of people screaming and getting under the tables to seek shelter.

As scenes of chaos unfolded, one dabber reportedly began hitting the bingo buzzer to alert the caller in the main bingo hall.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Buzz Bingo in Tong. Picture: T&ABuzz Bingo in Tong. Picture: T&A

One customer told the Telegraph & Argus: “I didn’t see the car until afterwards. At first a young lad dressed in black with gloves on came in, he was stood near the bandit and women’s toilet and we noticed him and thought he looked strange.

“My auntie could see the main doors and seen staff running so she said something’s going on and shouted to the staff.

“My mum was pressing the bingo buzzer to catch the attention of the main bingo hall because we were sat in the bar area near the bandits, then all of a sudden a man came running round waving a machete.

“He started shouting ‘Everybody get down, get down now, get down and nobody will get hurt’.

“Everyone was screaming, panicking.

“My mum, auntie and her friend hid under the table and I just ran for my life into the main bingo hall area and out of the fire exit at the back of the building and phoned the police.

“I didn’t see what happened in this time but about 20 minutes later I went back inside and everyone had been moved to the main bingo hall and then told to go outside by the managers at bingo so I presume the guys had gone.”

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She added: “I feel more shook about it today than when it actually happened, I think it’s hit me more because I couldn’t stop thinking about it last night.

“I’d like to hope if anyone knows who was responsible they would come forward with information, it will have a massive knock on effect on people who experienced it.

"There were old people hiding under tables and then couldn’t get home because they [police] closed the car park because it was a crime scene, so I can imagine they were really frightened.”

Another bingo player, who came down from Middlesbrough for her monthly bingo meet up, added: “We were sat close by the foyer glass doors when I saw a rush of people screaming and running into the main hall. I saw men running around the arcade area very fast.

“People were throwing themselves on the floor and getting under the tables to seek shelter.

“I jumped up and took my friend by the arm and ran to the smoking shelter where everyone was running too.

“It was like a scene on a film.

“I got my friend and a lady who was hysterical and we hid behind the double door pillars.

“There was a car smashed up outside the main entrance and then we heard the police arrive.

“Once the helicopter was up we went back inside and people were just scared and panicking but it was announced we were not able to leave as it was a crime scene.

“The staff were exceptional and supporting scared customers.

“I am reliving the scene, it was horrible.

“I never ever thought I would see this sort of thing in Bradford.”

In the last update from police, Chief Inspector Bash Anwar of Bradford District Police said: “This has undoubtedly caused concern amongst the community this evening.

“We are carrying out extensive enquiries to establish exactly what happened and find the people responsible.”

Information can be given via 101 or the Live Chat options at quoting log 1574 of September 4.

A Buzz Bingo spokesperson said: “We can confirm that an incident occurred at our Bradford club on Sunday 4 September.

"Member and colleague safety is our number one priority and we are supporting the authorities with their enquiries into this matter.”

It is unclear whether it is connected to an incident near Landscove Avenue in Holme Wood, where a large police cordon can be seen.

Police have restricted access to residents who leaving for work or living within the cordon. 

The cordon is limiting entry to Eggleston Drive, Argent Way, Greenholme Court and Landsholme Court.

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