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Charing Cross evacuated after fire on Southeastern train

Charing Cross station was evacuated Sunday while emergency services put out a fire on a Southeastern train.

London Fire Brigade was notified of the fire at 10.52 on Sunday morning and responded to a fire in the front carriage of the Class 375 train on platform 6, the 10.55 service to Robertsbridge.

The fire was quickly brought under control and while two people were checked over by paramedics no-one was injured in the incident. It is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault, perhaps related to the third rail insulator.

Eileen Harris, 60, and her son Daniel, 26, were heading to Tunbridge Wells when the fire started while it was on platform 6. She told the Guardian: “Suddenly the doors burst open and a woman ran through shouting ‘there’s a bomb on the train, everybody get off’. We ran away towards the opposite end of the station because I thought that if there was a bomb, they’d probably take out the concourse.

“But the staff kept saying to us come back in and we really didn’t want to come back through the station, because by then there was thick smoke. Where the fire was there were big bangs and pops and flashes. And the smoke, the smoke was the worst thing.”

Six fire engines and 35 firefighters attended and about 100 people were evacuated from the station while the fire was dealt with.

Mobile phone footage of the fire.

Station manager Norman Perry, who was at the scene, said: “A small section of the carriage was damaged by the fire and it caused a lot smoke. As well as tackling the fire, firefighters ensured the station and its shops and cafes were properly ventilated so it was safe for people to come back onto the concourse as soon as possible.”

The station reopened at 1.15pm, but the disruption to services in the capital, which also affected Blackfriars and London Bridge stations, continued until later that day.

Southeastern released a statement today saying that services today are all running as normal after engineers worked through the night to make repairs. These included the replacement of a section of melted rail, and a re-fit of a signalling location case.

“The cause of the fire is currently being investigated, with checks centring on the track equipment,” a Southeastern spokesman added.

A British transport police spokesman said: “At this stage, the fire is believed to have been the result of an electrical fault and there are no suspicious circumstances. The station was evacuated as a precaution and no one was injured.”

(Image: c. Olivia Rudgard/PA Wire)

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email


Guy   26/11/2014 at 07:35

It's Charing not Charring!

RTM   26/11/2014 at 08:43

Thanks for spotting the typo

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