Bank robbers take hostages at Wells Fargo branch in Minnesota

The FBI, St Cloud Police Department, and SWAT teams were on the scene. Armoured police vehicles have also been called to the bank.

Bank robbers have taken a number of hostages at a Wells Fargo branch in St Cloud, Minnesota, according to local authorities.

Police responded to the scene at around 2pm, and three hours later authorities told the AP it was still an active situation. No one has been has been reported as harmed so far.

Negotiations were still under way with the robbers, according to the police.

One hostage was released just before 6.30pm, WCCO reported, and a wad of money was thrown out the door of the bank after they left.

A second hostage was reportedly released later.

All of the hostages are reportedly bank employees, but the total number of people being held – or the number of robbers – was not immediately clear.

A crowd of spectators gathered around the bank branch, but authorities were asking members of the public to steer clear of the area.

Police Lieutenant Lori Ellering said the situation remains an active incident and negotiations are ongoing.

“There are an undisclosed number of bank employees being held hostage inside,” Lt Ellering said.

 “There are no reports of injuries. The SCPD and FBI are working together on this incident and are working with SWAT resources on scene.”

A third hostage was then released by the hostage takers at around 7.50pm CT, according to local media reports.

In media videos of the bank branch, a group of heavily armed troopers can be seen just outside of the door into the Wells Fargo with their guns trained inside.

The hostages who were released were patted down by law enforcement officers upon leaving the building.

“We recognise this is a traumatic moment for the community and our colleagues. The safety and security of our customers and employees is our most important priority,” a bank spokesperson told Minnesota Public Radio.

The bank is located at 200 33rd Avenue South in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Officers from from St. Cloud, Sartell and Sauk Rapids police, the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office and armored vehicles are on scene.

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