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Man Takes Hostage, Wants Muppet Song Played For 12 Hours

March 22, 1996 GMT

WANGANUI, New Zealand (AP) _ A man who claimed to be carrying a bomb held the manager of a radio station hostage today and demanded that the station broadcast the Muppet song ``The Rainbow Connection″ for 12 hours.

Police cordoned off the town center and evacuated several nearby buildings after the 21-year-old man barricaded himself and the manager of Star FM inside the station.

The man, whose name was not released, demanded the marathon playing of the Muppet record to ``tell people how he felt,″ said police Inspector Gary Smith.

Shortly after the hostage-taking began, police were able to grab the man when he opened the door of the manager’s office. Bomb disposal experts said he did not have any explosives.

There were no other employees in the building at the time. Wanganui is about 110 miles north of Wellington on the North Island.