A spokesperson for Essex Police has confirmed that a number of hostages have been taken by armed gunmen during a Christmas party in a Southend office block. 

According to a source at the scene on the top floor of the impressive Sukisuki Tower in Central Southend, a group of individuals with German accents arrived in the basement car park, attacked the guard at the main security desk, and after cutting all phone cables proceeded to the top floor party by elevator. 

A reporter from the Rayleigh Express who was invited to the party has been keeping in touch with our Newsdesk by Skype.

He said: ‘One individual has started fighting back against the hostage takers. One of them has just been thrown through a window and onto the roof of a waiting police car below. It made a bit of a noise.’

‘The head of the group told everyone that he was dying for a bag of peanut M&Ms, but you need a special employee code to get them out of the vending machine.’

‘He marched Mr Sukisuki, who is the company president, over to the machine and held a gun to his head, but he wouldn’t give him the code in spite of a brief and friendly conversation about the quality of his suit. Unfortunately gun shots were heard soon after.’

‘The rogue individual who is fighting back has been warned by police on the ground to stop interfering, but he is disregarding this advice and taking them all on in 1-2-1 combat.’

‘He keeps managing to win for some reason, and he must be local because he keeps shouting out ‘take some of that you slaaaaag.’

It has now emerged that the motivation for the raid is a set of Hatchimals that are currently stored in the company’s underground vault. 

The highly sought-after Christmas toy has been impossible to purchase in the run up to the big day, and a separate team of criminals is currently trying to drill through the three-metre thick wall to get them out. 

UPDATE: The head of the group has just been spotted falling from the top of the building in slow motion after a struggle while tying to usher the hostages onto a waiting helicopter.