Gas leak in central London leaves 2 railway stations closed, hundreds of people evacuated

Xinhua
Two major railway stations were closed and around 1,450 people were evacuated from a nightclub and hotel after a gas main ruptured in central London on Tuesday morning.
Xinhua

Two major railway stations were closed and around 1,450 people were evacuated from a nightclub and hotel after a gas main ruptured in central London on Tuesday morning.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said a gas leak discovered at around 2am Tuesday morning has caused the widespread disruption, and firefighters are assisting police at the scene in Craven Street off Strand. Charing Cross and Waterloo East stations are currently closed, with no trains currently running in or out of either stations.

"Fire crews using detection equipment have identified high levels of natural gas in the atmosphere. Around 1,450 people have been evacuated from a nearby hotel and a nightclub," LFB said in a statement.

Brett Loft, LFB spokesman and station manager at Chelsea, said he could not be sure how long the roads will remain closed, saying it depends on how long it takes gas authorities to find and seal the leak.

"This is a large gas leak in the street and as a precaution we have evacuated people and Charing Cross Station is closed. Commuters are advised to find alternative route and The Strand is closed.

"Gas engineers are working on isolating the leak and we'd asked people to avoid the area if possible."

A Network Rail spokesperson said: "Charing Cross station is currently closed owing to a gas leak in a nearby road. We will reopen the station as soon as we have clearance from emergency services that it is safe to do so. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused."

The Metropolitan Police said it was working with the fire service and partner agencies to deal with the leak. It tweeted: "A cordon and road closures are in place as a precaution and members of the public/motorists are advised to avoid the area at this time."

Residents have been evacuated and are being sent to Royal Horseguards Hotel in Whitehall Court, Westminster Council said.  


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