London Bridge fire: Rail routes are shut and buildings evacuated. Cars are stranded in the south of London.
The rail services have been interrupted, and buildings have been evacuated because of an enormous fire that has caused “bursts of black smoke” beneath railway arches in the center of London.
In the early hours of Wednesday, ten fire engines and about 70 firefighters were dispatched to the fire on Union Street in Southwark. It was lit entirely, According to London Fire Brigade.
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Train operator Southeastern confirmed that all the trains near London Bridge station were “severely disrupted”.
“Huge explosion with charcoal black.’
A student from the local area Lauren Chopin lives in an apartment located just two minutes away from the fire. She says she was required to wear a face mask in her home because of the smoke.
“There is a lot of smoke throughout Union Street and neighboring streets. Many fire emergency services are trying to put out the fire,” the 20-year-old said.
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“It sometimes slows down, and the smoke becomes whiter, only to be followed by another huge burst of black smoke… we have closed all doors and windows to limit the amount of smoke coming in.”
‘Thick, black smoke pouring out
Hanushek Lala, from Streatham within south London, was evacuated from her work because of the smoke.
“I was in a meeting at around 9.44 am when the alarms started going off, and everyone was looking around to find out if it was real. Then we all got told to leave the building,” the 24-year-old, employed in the facilities management field, said.
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“Everything has been snuffed out, and thick black smoke is escaping from the archway.
“All the buildings around us have been evacuated… around half an hour ago, the place was swarming with people, but now everyone is starting to move away because they’ve told us we won’t be let back in for a while because the fire is so bad and getting worse.”
A social media manager told me the manager could hear “fire alarms going off” during work. He was surprised to find “black smoke billowing” in Southwark.
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Lee Scarratt, 36, told the media: “At about 9.30 am this morning, I observed a huge black/grey smoke billowing from the roofs of the buildings located across on the other side of my workplace building.
“I could hear fire alarms going off and a crowd of people crowding at the end of the road. Then four fire engines arrived and an incident truck. The smoke became thicker and could be visual in the sky.”
The workplace is “close enough” to see the smoke clear He was not sure about the distance. However, “it was behind the buildings across the street”.
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The fire engines arrived 5-10 seconds after smoke appeared above the buildings. A “huge” crowd at the intersection appeared to be “presumably a mixture of evacuated people and passers-by”.
London Fire Brigade station commander Wayne Johnson said from the scene: “The blaze is producing massive smoke. Those who live or work in the area must keep doors and windows shut.
“Trains to and from London Bridge are affected, and several buildings have been evacuated.”
The fire department claimed it received over 33 calls about the fire, which was first alerted at 9.29 am.
The flame spread to an area of a car park, where several electronic vehicles caught on fire.
Train operator Southeastern posted on Twitter: “Due to a fire close to the track connecting Waterloo East and London Bridge, the services on all routes that pass through London Bridge are severely disrupted.
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“Trains are being diverted to other London terminals or terminated at alternative locations.”
Network Rail wrote on Twitter: “A fire broke out in an arch under (the) railway. London Fire Brigade is on-site with multiple pumps, and we have closed the railway until we can confirm it’s safe.”
The statement added: “We’re working with London Fire Brigade, and we will need to inspect the railway once the fire is out before we can reopen. Thank you for bearing with us.”
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