Chaos in central London as Charing Cross and Waterloo East stations close due to a gas leak

A major gas leak on the Strand in London’s West End caused chaos at early morning rush hours on Tuesday.

Nearby Network Rail stations Charing Cross and Waterloo East were shut down temporarily and about 1,450 people were evacuated from the area at around 2 am.

People from the Amba hotel, Heaven nightclub as well as some nearby building were evacuated and a 100-metre exclusion was put up around the Strand till 3 am while engineers worked to fix the leaks.

The Strand
Map of West End where the gas leak was detected. Photo: PA/Belfast Telegraph

Emergency Services were called shortly after 2 am after high levels of natural gas was detected at Craven Street, near Charing Cross station.

Affected local residents and hotel guests were relocated to the Royal Horseguards hotel in Whitehall for the interim while the leak was dealt with by the officials.

Two fire engines, 20 fire rescue units and 20 firefighters were sent to the scene to assist police officers who put a 150m cordon in place while National Grid engineers fixed the leak (Sky News).

The station closures led to overcrowding at Kings Cross during Tuesday morning rush hour, which also had to shut down temporarily.

The Strand
Officials dealing with the early morning rush hour outside Charing Cross. Photo: Evening Standard

With disrupted services among some other stations, crowd-control measures were deployed at London Bridge, Victoria, Cannon Street and Blackfriars.

A Southeastern spokesperson said: “We thank our passengers for their patience who faced delays and cancellations this morning due to a gas leak near Charing Cross station.

Both Southeastern trains operated stations Charing Cross and Waterloo East were reopened at midday but the services warned commuters of disruptions.

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