A fake cigarette prompted armed police to swoop on a coach on the M6 Toll road and close the motorway for four hours.You know that saying, "you couldn't make it up"? Well, yeah. That.
Forty eight passengers on the Megabus Preston to London service were led off the coach and forced to sit apart in a cordon on the opposite carriageway.
The road was closed between junctions T3 and T4 near Lichfield before police said they were no longer treating the incident as suspicious.
Jenny Lister, who was on the coach, said when she got off "there were armed police aiming at us".
She said: "We... were told to sit in rows and not talk to each other. There was a small area of the motorway where we were told to sit and stay. It was probably 45 minutes to an hour that we were sat there.
Military personnel, police dog handlers, firefighters and other specialist units were also at the scene.
Staffordshire Police received a report from someone who saw vapour as the coach was near the M6 Toll plaza at Weeford, near Lichfield.
The force said on investigation they found the passenger had an electronic cigarette which produces a visible vapour.
A force spokeswoman said, given the credibility of the information received, officers "responded swiftly and proportionately".This country descends further into farce each passing day.