NEWS

Holborn Fire Pictures Show Aftermath As Blaze Continues To Burn Under London

02/04/2015 12:51 | Updated 02 April 2015

Londoners could be forgiven for feeling a little hot under foot today as the city continued to burn underground following a huge electrical fire in Holborn.

Smoke continued to rise from the pavement despite fire crews’ overnight efforts to calm the blaze.

The fire in a cable tunnel on Kingsway, central London, caused carnage across the capital yesterday with smokey blackouts affecting many areas of the city’s centre.

Story continues below pictures...

  • BEN STANSALL via Getty Images
    Workers dig up a section of road outside Holborn underground station following an electrical fire in the service tunnels under the pavement in London on April 2, 2015. There were rush hour delays as a major road in central London remained closed on April 2, after an underground electrical fire, which took 12 hours to bring under control and saw the evacuation of more than 2,000 people. The fire started among cables in a service tunnel under the pavement of Kingsway in Holborn. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Sarah McCauley
  • BEN STANSALL via Getty Images
    A fire fighter sprays water into a manhole following an electrical fire in the service tunnels under the pavement in London on April 2, 2015. There were rush hour delays as a major road in central London remained closed on April 2, after an underground electrical fire, which took 12 hours to bring under control and saw the evacuation of more than 2,000 people. The fire started among cables in a service tunnel under the pavement of Kingsway in Holborn. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
  • BEN STANSALL via Getty Images
    A man passes a smoking manhole cover following an electrical fire in the service tunnels under the pavement in London on April 2, 2015 as emergency services continue to work at the scene. There were rush hour delays as a major road in central London remained closed on April 2, after an underground electrical fire, which took 12 hours to bring under control and saw the evacuation of more than 2,000 people. The fire started among cables in a service tunnel under the pavement of Kingsway in Holborn. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
  • BEN STANSALL via Getty Images
    A fire fighter (L) looks on as a worker digs up a section of road following an electrical fire in the service tunnels under the pavement in London on April 2, 2015. There were rush hour delays as a major road in central London remained closed on April 2, after an underground electrical fire, which took 12 hours to bring under control and saw the evacuation of more than 2,000 people. The fire started among cables in a service tunnel under the pavement of Kingsway in Holborn. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
  • BEN STANSALL via Getty Images
    Morning commuters walk past the scene of a fire under the pavement of a major road in the west end of London on April 2, 2015 while emergency services continue to work at the scene. There were rush hour delays as a major road in central London remained closed on April 2, after an underground electrical fire, which took 12 hours to bring under control, saw the evacuation of more than 2,000 people. The fire started among cables in a service tunnel under the pavement of Kingsway in Holborn.
  • London Fire Brigade

Part of Kingsway was still cordoned off today as 21 firefighters and officers continued to battle the underground flames.

Officials said that because of the complex nature of the fire, the operation to extinguish it could take “some time”.

Brett Vincent tweeted: “Holborn still at a standstill from last night. Traffic chaos and people who can't seem to walk straight everywhere.”

Colm Nugent added: “Central London still looks like a post-apocalyptic film set; no power, shops closed and smoke belching from the road.”

Yesterday flames could be seen shooting into the air from manholes, while smoke drifted across the city centre.

holborn

Flames shoot from a manhole on Kingsway yesterday

Around 2,000 people were evacuated from nearby offices and many have been unable to return today.

Joe Rankin, who works at a communications consultancy in the area, said that his office’s infrastructure had been seriously damaged in the fire.

He said: “We’re not back today. Still shut down - no power, internet, network, etc. Our offices are behind the cordon.”

holborn

Firefighters worked through the night to control the blaze

Students at LSE were also evacuated from the university’s campus, as well as some halls of residence.

The university was forced to put a contingency plan in place for students left without accommodation.

All of the central campus buildings remained closed today, as many were left without power in the blaze.

Many buildings were left without power last night, with probelms continuing into today.

The London Transport Museum in Covent Garden also remains closed.

Despite the incident, Holborn station is fully open and services are operating as normal.

At the height of the incident yesterday, ten fire engines and around 70 firefighters and officers were in attendance.

Underground Cable Fire

London Fire Brigade Assistant Commissioner Peter Cowup said: “This has been a technically difficult incident to tackle. The reason that the fire is still burning is because the service tunnel is hard to reach and although firefighters have been applying water through access points throughout the night, the complexity of the tunnel layout means that it will be some time until the fire is fully extinguished.

“However, the fire is contained and we are making steady progress and working with the utility companies and the police to bring this incident to a close.”

He added: “Crews worked closely with the various electricity companies involved to identify the source and extent of the fire which was underground.

"As this was  likely to be an electrical fire we had to ensure the power was off before we applied water to extinguish it.

SEE ALSO

Tube 'Hero' Killed By Train At Old Street Was Trying To Rescue Brother

LSE Fire Sees 2,000 Evacuated From Kingsway, Holborn Tube Station Closed

LSE Holborn Fire: Students Forced To Seek Temporary Accommodation As Campus Stays Closed

“We worked with our partners and implemented a well-rehearsed plan to prevent the fire from spreading and to protect surrounding properties.”

There have been no reports of injuries.

  • Dan Kitwood via Getty Images
    Flames emerge from the ground as fire crews tend to an underground electrical cable fire at Lincoln's Inn Fields in on April 1, 2015 in London, England. Around 2000 people have been evacuated from nearby buildings as Police declared it a major incident, and closed the road. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
  • Dan Kitwood via Getty Images
    Fire crews tend to an underground electrical cable fire at Lincoln's Inn Fields in on April 1, 2015 in London, England. Around 2000 people have been evacuated from nearby buildings as Police declared it a major incident, and closed the road. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
  • David Jensen/EMPICS Entertainment
    A fireman walks down Kingsway as smoke rises from an underground cable fire,Kingsway, nr Holborn - London
  • Arnaud Stephenson/LNP
    Smoke fills Kingsway in London where a large area has been cordoned off and hundreds of people evacuated from buildings following a large fire.
  • Arnaud Stephenson/LNP
    Smoke fills Kingsway in London where a large area has been cordoned off and hundreds of people evacuated from buildings following a large fire.
  • Arnaud Stephenson/LNP
    Smoke fills Kingsway in London where a large area has been cordoned off and hundreds of people evacuated from buildings following a large fire.
  • London Fire Brigade
    Six fire engines and 35 firefighters at electrical fire at LSE on Kingsway in Holborn.
  • London Fire Brigade
  • London Fire Brigade
  • London Fire Brigade
  • London Fire Brigade
  • James Edgar/PA Wire
    A general view of firefighters on the scene as police have declared a major incident over a blaze which began under the pavement of Kingsway in Holborn, the fire brigade said.
  • London Fire Brigade
  • Iain Buchanan /@ibwan
  • Iain Buchanan /@ibwan
  • Iain Buchanan /@ibwan
  • Iain Buchanan /@ibwan
  • Iain Buchanan /@ibwan
  • Iain Buchanan /@ibwan
  • Iain Buchanan /@ibwan
  • Iain Buchanan /@ibwan
  • Iain Buchanan /@ibwan
  • Iain Buchanan /@ibwan
  • Iain Buchanan /@ibwan
  • James Edgar/PA Wire
    A general view of firefighters on the scene as police have declared a major incident over a blaze which began under the pavement of Kingsway in Holborn, the fire brigade said.
  • James Edgar/PA Wire
    A general view of police on the scene as they have declared a major incident over a blaze which began under the pavement of Kingsway in Holborn, the fire brigade said.
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