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[Charing Cross station] Onlookers flee as huge blast tears through Charing Cross station

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Published on Nov 23, 2014

Onlookers flee as huge blast tears through Charing Cross station
Onlookers flee as huge blast tears through Charing Cross station Onlookers flee as huge blast tears through Charing Cross station
BREAKING NEWS: Charing Cross station evacuated after huge fire breaks out on train at platform
Fire started around front carriage of train which had pulled into station
One witness said it appeared locomotive may have crashed into buffers
Jacob Lovie, 22: 'There was this screech, bang and smoke everywhere'
Station is main terminal for trains from Kent and south east London
Delays of more than two hours as trains diverted to other main stations
Authorities: Fire thought to be caused by electrical fault - no injuries
By DAN BLOOM and LUCY CROSSLEY FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 06:51 EST, 23 November 2014 | UPDATED: 07:33 EST, 23 November 2014




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Fire: London's Charing Cross station was evacuated after a blaze broke out on the platform
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Fire: London's Charing Cross station was evacuated after a blaze broke out on the platform

One of London's main railway stations was evacuated this morning after a fire broke out on a train at a platform.

Passengers were ordered to leave Charing Cross after the blaze started in the front carriage of one of the trains inside.

Firefighters were called to the station at 10.52am, with five fire engines dispatched to the scene.

Officers were able to deal with the fire quickly, but it also caused smoke damage to a live wire and the hotel next door.

Marketing worker Jacob Lovie, 22, was waiting for a train to London Bridge when he heard what sounded like an explosion.

He said: 'I was sitting on the platform and there was this loud screech and a big bang. Smoke went everywhere and a few people were screaming.

'It looked like a train hadn't braked properly and had gone into the big buffer at the end of the track.

'People were jogging quite calmly to the exit and the alarms were going off. I was outside when the first police car came and told everyone to move away.

'I didn't see anyone hurt but there was a big bang and it was still on fire afterwards. It looked as though the fire was more on the platform and the building around it than the actual locomotive.

'The staff were clearing everyone out very quickly so it hit people more when they got outside the station and everyone was like 'woah'. There was one woman who looked really shaken up.'

The six-platform station between Trafalgar Square and the River Thames is a main terminal for trains from Kent, Sussex and south east London and handles almost 40 million passengers a year.

Rail operator Southeastern said there were delays of more than two hours on some services as they were diverted to other stations, including London Bridge and Victoria.

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Witnesses: Passengers were on the platform when the fire took hold, and were swiftly evacuated
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Witnesses: Passengers were on the platform when the fire took hold, and were swiftly evacuated

The station remained closed until after midday and at that time a Southeastern spokesman could not confirm when it would re-open.

'There was a fire reported on a train at 10.52,' a London Fire Brigade spokesman told MailOnline.

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'Five fire engines were in attendance and the fire is now out on the train but we are dealing with the smoke damage to the hotel next door.

'It was a six carriage train and it was on platform six and the front carriage was five percent damaged by fire.

'The adjacent live rail was also damaged and there is smoke damage to the front carriage.


'The whole station has been evacuated.'

The spokesman said there had been no reports of an explosion at the station, and the cause of the fire was being investigated.

A London Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: 'We were called at 10.55am to reports of a fire on a train at Charing Cross.

'We sent a duty manager to the scene and two patients were checked over, but nobody was taken to hospital.

'Our involvement in the incident has now concluded.'

A statement posted on National Rail's website said: 'A fire at London Charing Cross is causing disruption to journeys between London Charing Cross / London Blackfriars and London Bridge.

'Because of congestion caused by trains being diverted, Thameslink trains will not call at stations between London Blackfriars and East Croydon.

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