Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

London Bridge: Major disruption as fire closes train tracks

Train tracks have been blocked and several buildings evacuated after a fire broke out near London Bridge.

More than 70 firefighters tackled the blaze in a railway arch on Union Street, Southwark, which was reported just after 09:20 BST.

Network Rail said it also spread to a car park and set fire to a “couple of electric cars”.

Four rail lines have been closed, while the Jubilee line on the Tube is also part suspended.

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The blaze was initially spotted by a train driver who saw smoke rising above the railway between London Bridge and Waterloo East, according to Network Rail.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said the entire railway arch beneath the tracks had caught fire and smoke could “be seen from miles around”.

Hanushe Lala, from Streatham in south London, said she was evacuated from her workplace after “thick, black smoke” began “pouring out” of the archway.

The 24-year-old added: “All the buildings around us have been evacuatedโ€ฆ they’ve told us we won’t be let back in for a while because the fire is so bad and getting worse.”

Student Lauren Chopin, who lives in an apartment two minutes’ walk from the fire, said she had to wear a mask indoors due to the fumes.

“There is a lot of smoke all through Union Street and neighbouring streets,” said the 20-year-old.

“It sometimes slows down and the smoke becomes whiter, only to be followed by another huge burst of black smoke.”

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LFB said the fire was now under control and no injuries had been reported.

Station commander Wayne Johnson said the blaze had produced “heavy smoke and those living or working in the local area are advised to keep their windows and doors closed.

“Trains to and from London Bridge are affected and several buildings have been evacuated.”

The brigade previously said crews were also investigating another blaze at London Bridge Tube station after smoke was seen there but it was later “determined this was from the fire on Union Street”.

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Network Rail advised passengers to check routes before they travel with the railway having been shut “for safety reasons”.

Spokesman Chris Denham said: “No trains are currently able to run between London Bridge and Blackfriars/Waterloo East or Charing Cross, with services diverted or cancelled.

“Once the fire is extinguished we will inspect the arches for any damage and make sure it is safe to run trains before reopening the line.”

rain operator Southeastern warned passengers that the fire had caused severe disruption on “all our Metro services and also our mainline services between London and Tonbridge, Hastings and Ashford”.

“Trains are being diverted to other London terminals or terminated at alternative locations.”

Transport for London (TfL) confirmed the Jubilee line has been shut between Canary Wharf and Green Park for safety checks, while Thameslink also said its services had been affected by the blaze.

By Chala Dandessa

I am Lecturer, Researcher and Freelancer. I am the founder and Editor at ETHIOPIANS TODAY website. If you have any comment use caalaadd2@gmail.com as email contact. Additionally you can contact us through the contact page of www.ethiopianstoday.com.

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