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23 Jan, 2018 07:25

‘Chaos’ as central London station shut and 1,500 people evacuated after gas leak

‘Chaos’ as central London station shut and 1,500 people evacuated after gas leak

Some 1,450 people have been evacuated from a nightclub and a hotel, and major station Charing Cross is closed after a gas main ruptured in the Strand, central London.

Witnesses have described “chaos” as doormen at the Heaven nightclub ordered them to leave after the alarm was raised at around 2am. Guests at the hotel were moved into emergency accommodation.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) say a ruptured gas main was discovered in the early hours of Tuesday morning on Craven Street, off Strand. Fire crews found high levels of natural gas in the atmosphere, the fire service said.

Brett Loft, station manager, advised commuters to find alternative routes. The Strand, a major route through central London, has been closed entirely.

A 150 meter cordon has been put in place while National Grid engineers try to isolate the leak.

An LFB spokesman said in a statement: “We are assisting police on the Strand after a ruptured gas main was discovered using detection equipment and high levels of natural gas were detected in the atmosphere.

“As a precaution, approximately 1,450 people have been evacuated. They are from a hotel and a night club.

“The Strand is completely closed and we are asking people to avoid the area.

“We do not know the cause of the gas leak at this stage. It is ongoing and engineers are down at the scene trying to isolate the leak. There are still high readings of natural gas in the area.

“We are working to sort it out as quickly as possible.”