Pedestrians were forced to run for cover and several people were injured when a man began hurling desks, chairs and computers from the tallest building in Bristol, south-west England, in an apparent case of office rage.

The bizarre incident was sparked at about 7.20pm local time Tuesday when fire alarms at the 17-storey Castlemead Tower went off, the Bristol Evening Post reported Thursday.

As the building was evacuated, a man made his way up to the 10th and 11th floors where he apparently ran amok -- trashing office furniture and doors.

He then used a fire extinguisher to smash open a window, and began throwing computers, printers, files and other office equipment out of the broken window.

While most of the objects landed on the building's front entrance canopy, some glass and debris rained down on workers in the street, injuring several people -- including firefighters called to the scene.

"Everyone got outside to the fire assembly point out the front, and then a fire extinguisher came flying out through the window," a worker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.

"Over the next few minutes, a computer, a printer, a desk and a chair came out through the same window of the 10th floor ... Someone's car also got hit by a fire extinguisher."

Police said a 49-year-old man was in custody on suspicion of burglary, adding that he would also be investigated for assault.

Reports suggested that the man might have been a former employee of one of the offices in the building.