LONDON. On Monday, a huge fire broke out near a major train station in London, as a result of which a ball of fire went out into the street, and huge clouds of smoke appeared over parts of the city. About 100 firefighters fought for two hours to take control of the fire.
Police said the explosion was not terrorism-related, which calmed nerves after onlookers posted impressive footage of flames erupting from a garage located in the arches below Elephant and Castle station.
Five people were in the garage in which the auto repair shop was located when the fire broke out shortly before 14:00. According to the commander of the London fire brigade, James Ryan, one person was treated for smoke at the scene. He added that four others had already left when the firefighters arrived.
The London ambulance service said six people were injured at the scene and one was taken to hospital.
Firefighters and police evacuated Elephant and Castle station, a major transit hub in South London, as well as a nearby residential building, sending people to the surrounding streets. The fire department also warned nearby residents to keep doors and windows closed during the incident.
“Roads are currently closed and people are advised to avoid the area,” Southwark police wrote on Twitter, adding that “the incident is not considered terrorism-related.”
The fire brigade said that three commercial objects under the arches supporting the station caught fire, as well as four cars and a telephone booth. Shortly before 4:00 pm, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the fire, which he called “very serious,” had been brought under control.
Railroad officials said trains do not run through the station and warned that it could interfere with operations on Tuesday, as there is evidence that the fire damaged signaling equipment.
British tabloid The Sun posted images of what it said was a police officer carrying two young children down the stairs to safety. The metro station at Elephant and Castle remained open, and police said they hoped to open the streets by evening.
The nearby Southwark Playhouse opened its doors, writing: “If you are evacuated and need to go somewhere, our door is open for you to charge your phone, have a drink or take a seat at our bar.”