Panic and confusion broke out at one of Britain's busiest transport hubs Tuesday morning after a false fire alarm forced the evacuation of Liverpool St Station in London.
Commuters described a "scary experience" at the station, which carries some 63 million passengers a year, revealing heightened fears among passengers in the wake of the Leytonstone Tube attack on Saturday night.
Witnesses said alarms rang out through the ticket hall, as the station was evacuated without explanation, with some reporting the commotion was caused by a man "kicking off and shouting".
Others described "mass panic" among travellers, with the situation apparently made worse by the lack of information coming from authorities.
Liverpool Street station evacuation was unorganised. People still could enter the station. Everyone was confused.— Tonijs Gorodnicenko (@tonijz) December 8, 2015
The Huffington Post UK made at least eight calls to authorities including the British Transport Police, Network Rail and Transport for London, none of whom where immediately able to shed light on the incident.
A British Transport Police spokesman later told HuffPost UK it was due to a fire alarm going off, which turned out to be a false alert. The station has since re-opened.
Without any clear information immediately available, worried commuters were left to speculate on what could have caused the mass evacuation.
I was in Liverpool Street Station 10mins, suddenly the alarm said an emergency situation. People leaving the station w/out knowing anything.— Laura Grace GM (@LauraManurung) December 8, 2015
What the fuck just happened at Liverpool Street, mass panic— Adam (@adamhorton1) December 8, 2015
There's just been an emergency evacuation from Liverpool Street station, no idea what's going on.— Nicholas Pearce (@XanatuNP) December 8, 2015
An announcement in Liverpool Street saying evacuate and everyone just sprinteeed out of there— MrAmako (@MrAmako) December 8, 2015
Liverpool Street just been evacuated everyone running @TfL any updates?— Jon Bennallick (@Jon_Bennallick) December 8, 2015
Others described the feeling of panic among commuters, following news more police officers would be deployed to rail stations across the country in the light of a stabbing at an east London Tube station on Saturday.
Liverpool Street was just evacuated - utter panic among some commuters— Brendan Nelson (@brelson) December 8, 2015
Nothing like a Liverpool Street evacuation to make everyone c*** themselves!— Shilpa M (@Shilpa_Says) December 8, 2015
Kinda just shit myself, just evacuated the whole of Liverpool Street— ♕ ᴀ ᴅ ᴀ ᴍ ♛ (@GimmeCrackers) December 8, 2015
Some expressed concern at the "scary" event...
Just evacuated from #LiverpoolStreet - no clue what's going on. People shouting about terrorist activity. Scary start to the morning!— JESSICA (@MakingItUpBlog) December 8, 2015
Station evacuation announcement at Liverpool street this morning. Feels very unsafe at the moment travelling on public transport.— ALI (@alihai3) December 8, 2015
...while others described the 'Keep Calm and Carry On' nature of Londoners, who responded to the alert with bemusement and little concern.
Evacuation alarm going off at Liverpool Street. Nobody cares. No terror alert will make Londoners miss their train.— Peter (@pjauturgy) December 8, 2015
#liverpoolstreet is currently a bizarre mix of sprinting tourists and grumpy londoners who won't evacuate without a coffee.— Zoe Sharp (@zoelissima) December 8, 2015
@dezzaxx_ I'm at Liverpool Street right now. I'm not in terror. I'm in McDonald's.— tinsel tits (@Grabcocque) December 8, 2015
Liverpool Street, now. pic.twitter.com/R2I8FBVBPB— tinsel tits (@Grabcocque) December 8, 2015
A spokeswoman for Greater Anglia said one train was delayed by five minutes due to the evacuation, while Transport for London confirmed Tube lines running through the station were experiencing severe delays, but because of an unrelated issue.
Liverpool Street's Twitter account proceeded to issue apologies to commuters, posting messages to them individually finally confirming that the evacuation had been caused by a false alarm set off by a contractor.
@elliotwagland approximately 60 seconds before staff identified false alarm and stopped evacuation. /2— Liverpool Street (@NetworkRailLST) December 8, 2015