2,000 Evacuated as Electrical Fire Blazes Under London Streets

By Gerald Lynch on at

A large fire has broken out beneath the streets of Holborn in Central London, causing thousands of people to be evacuated and a major operation by the London Fire Brigade to get underway in an attempt to bring the situation under control.

2,000 people have been evacuated from nearby buildings and a 25 metre safety cordon has been put up, with six fire engines and 35 firefighters working at the scene. The fire is believed to have been caused by electrical power cabling under the pavement of Kingsway in Holborn, with smoke billowing out of the ground.

According to the London Fire Brigade website, the alarm was raised "after smoke was seen coming out of an inspection cover on the pavement."

Police have closed Kingsway at both ends and motorists are being advised to avoid the area. It seems the power cabling could possibly be serving the local Holborn underground station, which is currently closed due to a "local power failure". Catering for the Central and Piccadilly lines, it's looking unlikely that the station will re-open in time for tonight's rush-hour, so anyone working in the affected area should seek an alternative route home if possible (though note that buses through the area are also being put on diversion). [@LondonFire]