Chaos hits City of London as hundreds evacuated in gas main rupture

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Chaos hit the City of London as more than 1,300 people were evacuated when a gas main ruptured. Masses fled from homes, hotels and offices as firefighters were scrambled to the incident.

It came as a 24-inch gas main ruptured, causing gas to leak into a nearby basement, at around 2.45pm on Tuesday.

Fire crews worked with the gas authority to extract and ventilate the gas to open air. There were no reports of any injuries.

Firefighters carried out a sweep of the surrounding area to check for elevated readings of gas and confirmed no elevated readings remained.

The Brigade was called at 1447 and the incident was over for firefighters by 2139. Fire crews from Whitechapel, Dowgate, Paddington and surrounding fire stations attended the scene.

The London Fire Brigade had initially tweeted: “Firefighters are attending a ruptured gas main on Seething Lane at the junction of Crutched Fryers Lane in the City of London.

“Around 150 people have been evacuated from commercial premises and offices. Please avoid the area if possible.”

The LFB followed this with an update shortly afterwards, that read: “Around 1,300 people have been evacuated due to the 24 inch gas main that has ruptured on Seething Lane junction of Crutched Friars. Fenchurch Street station is not affected. Please avoid the area if possible.”

Seething Lane in the City of London is located the west of the bustling Tower Hill area and just south of the busy Fenchurch train station. It connects All Hallows-by-the-Tower, Byward Street, with St Olave’s Church, Hart Street.

This morning, the LFB was called to a fire at a waste recycling centre in Kingston upon Thames.

Ten fire engines and around 70 firefighters are tackling the blaze at the premises in Chapel Mill Road.

Around 50 tonnes of household waste is alight, creating a large amount of smoke. Local residents are advised to keep their doors and windows closed.

Firefighters were called just before 5am. Fire crews from Surbiton are surrounding fire stations are at the scene.

The cause of the fire is not known at this stage.

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On Monday afternoon, the LFB was called to a building collapse on Honor Oak Park in Lewisham, southeast London.

The wall at the front of the roof of a terraced building used as a shop and art studio had collapsed. There were no reports of any injuries.

The LFB were called at 5.24pm and the incident was over less than five hours later at 9.15pm. Fire crews from New Cross, Greenwich, Peckham, Forest Hill and surrounding fire stations attended the scene.

Station Commander Dan Capon, who was at the scene, said: “Honor Oak Park was closed whilst crews made the scene safe and a 25-metre cordon was put in place as a precaution.

“One of the Brigade’s 32-metre turntable ladders was used as an observational tower at the scene to assess damage from above.”

This morning, four fire engines and around 25 firefighters were called to a flat fire on Warltersville Road in Crouch End. Part of first-floor flat and a second-floor flat were damaged There were no reports of any injuries.

The LFB were called at 8.37am and the fire was under control by 1022. Fire crews from Holloway, Hornsey, Kentish Town and Finchley fire stations attended the scene. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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