A police helicopter swooped on a factory in Cheshire and armed policemen surrounded it following reports of gunshots, but only found shocked Asian workers playing cricket inside the factory premises, the local media reported.
After watching the recent England-Bangladesh World Cup match, some workers decided to play cricket within the factory premises. Soon, the batsmen were hitting 'fours' and 'sixes', but what sounded like gunshots was actually the sound of the ball hitting a metal shutter, it said.
Reports from the northwest town of Cheadle in the northwest England, say that soon a police operation was mounted on suspicion that gunshots were being exchanged in the Power Star factory, which manufactures sports equipment, it said.
"We'd been watching the England match and finished work, so thought we may as well play cricket. We were just messing around and could hear shouting saying 'Come out! Come out!'" Mohammed Ijaz, one of the factory workers was quoted as saying by the media report.
"At first we carried on as we didn't realise it was to do with us. But when we realised it was, we headed outside and as soon as we opened the door we could see lots of armed police. It was a bit of a shock but they were just doing their job," he added.
As soon as it became apparent there was no threat, the police quickly left the scene. The police said that the report of gunshots at the factory was made by a passer-by in good faith.
"All reports of gunshots are taken very seriously and because of the potential threat to people's lives we have to take swift and appropriate action to deal with these very serious risks," chief superintendent Rebekah Sutcliffe said.
Specially trained firearms officers are always deployed because they have the necessary skills to be able to deal with these threats safely and minimise risks to the public, Sutcliffe said.