Firm removes 170 staff as force is used on protesters

Atkins is evacuating staff from Bahrain because of increasing violence in the kingdom as state forces crack down on protesters.

The company is flying 170 staff to other offices in the Middle East after troops used force to clear the capital Manama’s central square, reportedly leaving at least three demonstrators dead.

A spokesperson for Atkins said: “We have activated our contingency plan for Bahrain and are now decanting our people to other Atkins locations in the region to ensure the safety of our people and continued service to our clients.”

Scott Wilson has also closed its offices in Bahrain, although it has not evacuated its staff.

“Staff are working from their residences and projects continue, albeit with some inevitable disruption,” a spokesperson said.

Hyder has also closed its office, and staff are working from home. The firm said this had not disrupted any projects.