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  1. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Thursday
  2. Updates for Wednesday 1 April 2015

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Kingsway Fire recap

That's it from BBC Local Live for today but here's a quick recap of this afternoon's events at Holborn.

Firefighters are still on the scene at Kingsway in Holborn tackling an electrical fire under a pavement in central London.

  • More than 2,000 workers, shoppers and tourists have been evacuated, including the Royal Courts of Justice, and road closures remain in place. Holborn Tube station is also currently closed - visit the
    BBC London Travel website for more information.
  • Classes at
    City Lit have been cancelled and
    LSE has been evacuated.
  • A number of evening theatre shows have also been cancelled -
    London Theatre Direct has the latest news.

For the latest on the Kingsway fire and how it is affecting travel services and the latest road closures listen to

BBC London 94.9 and watch
BBC London News at 18:30 where our reporter will be live at the scene.

You can also catch up on the evening news programme on

iPlayer later. Good evening.

Cumberbatch cancelled

Freemasons' Hall

tweets: @BBCLondonNews We regret that tonight's performance of #LettersLive has had to be cancelled due to #HolbornFire major incident

Traffic delays due to Kingsway fire

There is queuing traffic in both directions between the A4 Aldwych junction and Holborn Station, because of the fire on Kingsway.

  • Kingsway in Aldwych closed.
  • A diversion is in operation - affecting bus routes 1, 59, 68, 91, 168, 171, 188, 243 and 341.
  • There is also congestion on A4 Strand to the Charing Cross Station junction and to the B502 Bernard Street junction.
  • There is also disruption at the A301 Kingsway Tunnel (Strand Underpass) at A4 Strand and A301 Waterloo Bridge between Imax Roundabout and Strand Underpass.

For the latest information go to our

BBC London travel page or follow

The show must go on

Beth Rose

BBC News

According to online magazine

What's On Stage: "Other shows in the area are currently planning to go ahead with tonight's performance, including Mamma Mia!, Made in Dagenham, Oppenheimer and Memphis the Musical."

Cause of the fire 'not known'

London Fire Brigade said the cause of the fire is not known at this stage, but the alarm was raised after smoke was seen coming out of an inspection cover on the pavement.


Assistant Commissioner Peter Cowup said: "Crews are currently working to prevent the spread of the fire to surrounding buildings. We are working closely with the various electricity companies involved to identify the source and extent of the fire which is underground. As this is likely to be an electrical fire we have to ensure the power is off before we apply water to extinguish it."

Power cuts in Covent Garden

The fire in Kingsway has also knocked out power in parts of Covent Garden.

The Market building, James Street, Garrick Street and Rose Street have been affected according to the

Covent Garden Area Trust.

Kingsway fire leads to cancellation of theatre shows

London Theatre Direct has confirmed that a number of West End shows will be cancelled this evening due to the fire in Holborn, including:

  • Lion King at Lyceum Theatre
  • Play That Goes Wrong at Duchess Theatre
  • Beautiful, The Carol King Musical, at Aldwych Theatre

The matinee show of the Lion King at Lyceum Theatre matinee show was also interrupted and the audience had to be evacuated. Visit

London Theatre Direct for the latest updates.

Fire service 'isolating electricity'

BBC News Channel

Sarah Campbell is at the scene for the

BBC News Channel. She said: "It was believed to have started in a service duct which carry utilities such as gas, electric and water pipes.

Sarah Campbell at Kingsway

"The fire service have been isolating the electricity so they can go into the ground and dampen down the fire."

Benedict Cumberbatch show

Freemasons' Hall

tweets: @BBCLondonNews The decision will be made at 6pm as to whether #LettersLive can go ahead #HolbornFire #FingersCrossed

'Dramatic' flames caused by ruptured gas pipe

BBC London 94.9


Speaking to

BBC London 94.9, Gary Squires, from London Fire Brigade, added: "We can see flames coming out of the pavement which looks quite dramatic, but that is the gas pipe - it has now ruptured and that has now ignited and the gas is burning off and, if anything, makes it safer for us as the gas is being burnt off.

Fire crews at Kingsway
Finbar Anderson

"A lot of people have self evacuated from the buildings they've seen the smoke and had power cuts. But it is only the buildings on Kingsway that have been evacuated by the smoke."

Events cancelled

BBC London 94.9's Anna O'Neill

tweets: Sorry, #freemasons. No meeting tonight at the Grand Lodge. @BBCLondon949 #HolbornFire

Fire in the 'service duct'

BBC London's 94.9 Anna O'Neill spoke to Gary Squires from London Fire Brigade at the scene of the fire in Kingsway. He said: "There is a couple of small fires down the length of the street. What we have is a large service service duct which carries electric cables, gas cables, water pipes and a number of hazards beneath the street.

Fire engines at Kingsway
Finbar Anderson

"There is a fire within that service duct. The service duct is heavily smoke logged at the moment and we have some very high powered cables down there which is causing a hazard to our crews. We are working with gas and electric authorities to get those isolated so we can go down and start our fire fighting."

Carole King show cancelled

Aldwych Theatre

tweets: Due to circumstances beyond our control, tonight's performance of @BeautifulinLDN has been cancelled.

Transport services affected by Kingsway Fire

Transport for London said the following services are affected by the Kingsway fire:

  • 10 bus routes are currently on diversion: 1, 59, 68, 91, 168, 171, 188, 243, 341 and 521.
  • Holborn Station (on the Central and Piccadilly lines) is closed. Tube tickets are being accepted on local buses within Zone 1.
  • Roads - Kingsway is closed between Holborn and Aldwych (Westminster Council Road). The Strand Underpass is also closed and Waterloo bridge is closed northbound. This is leading to serious delays along the Strand back to Trafalgar Square and also around Waterloo.

Customers are advised to check our real time travel feeds on Twitter and to check the

TfL website for the latest travel information.

LSE advises people to avoid their campus

LSE tweet


tweeted students and staff warning them to stay away.

Onlookers 'struggled to breathe'

Another witness said the smoke seeped through the drains as he walked along Aldwych, at the bottom of Kingsway.

Iain B

He said: "I had just cycled over Waterloo Bridge and as I approached Kingsway I saw a big crowd of people and smoke billowing towards me. The fire crews and police officers were beginning to cordon off the area. I was close enough to see thick black smoke puffing out of the drain grills and I struggled to breathe."

'Burning smell' in the air

Judges, lawyers and staff at the nearby Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand have also evacuated from the area, due to the

electrical fire. Onlookers also reported "struggling to breathe".

Gavin Welsh

Nicola Foxfield, 29, said: "I was walking from Covent Garden towards Holborn and I could smell burning in the air. It's chaos and fire engines are coming from every direction and there are so many people around."

Power outage widespread

Claire Timms

BBC News, London

The power switch-off due to the

major incident at Kingsway has also affected Covent Garden Market, James Street and Garrick Street.

BBC London 94.9


Our top story at 17:00:

We have all the latest on the evacuation of the Kingsway area of London as a major incident is declared following a fire under a pavement. Reporter Anna O'Neill is at the scene.

What we know about the Kingsway Fire

Here's the story so far:

  • More than 2,000 people have been evacuated from Kingsway in Holborn following an
    electrical fire under a pavement.
  • Six fire engines and 70 firefighters and officers are at the scene
  • Police have declared a major incident and closed Kingsway at both ends
  • The fire started shortly after 12.30pm
  • London Fire Brigade crews have been unable to tackle it "effectively" because they are waiting for the utility companies to switch off the power.
map of Kingsway incident

Power supplies in Kingsway area interrupted

A spokesperson at

UK Power Networks said: "Teams of UK Power Networks engineers are currently on site at an incident in Kingsway. Power supplies in the area have been interrupted and as soon as we can gain access, we will work to restore electricity as quickly as is safely possible. We will also help the emergency services investigate the cause."

Aerial view of Kingsway

'No injuries'

BBC Breaking News

tweets: No reports of injuries but 70 firefighters still at #Holborn blaze, @LondonFire tweets

Kingsway evacuated


BBC London TV reporter Jean Mackenzie

tweets: Electrical fire on Kingsway in Holborn. Area evacuated

Anna O'Neill

Reporter, BBC London

Smoke billows at junction with Kemble St as fire can be seen burning up through the road.


Kingsway fire underground

BBC London TV's Jean Mackenzie

tweets: ‏Electrical fire that's closed Kingsway in Holborn.


Kingsway fire 'continues to burn'

The fire started shortly after 12:30 but crews have been unable to start tackling it "effectively" because they are waiting for the utility companies to turn off the power.

Fayyadh Shamsuddin

A spokesman for

London Fire Brigade said: "The fire continues to still burn. There are a lot of electrical cables down there. But we cannot tackle it effectively until the power situation has been resolved."

He said the fire is not connected to the London Underground but Holborn Tube station has been closed for the purposes of traffic management.

Kingsway fire : Nearby theatres evacuated

BBC London's 94.9's Anna O'Neill is at the scene and
tweeted the nearby Lyceum theatre, which is currently showing the Lion King, has also been evacuated due to the electrical fire in Kingsway.


Play off ?

Theatre sign

BBC London 94.9 reporter Anna O'Neill

tweets: The Play That Goes Wrong has gone wrong #HolbornFire @BBCLondon949

'No electricity'

The Strand

BBC London 94.9 reporter Anna O'Neill

tweets: No electricity for shops on the strand as I walk towards the incident in Holborn @BBCLondon949

News on the hour

BBC London 94.9 will have the latest on the electrical fire under the pavement in Holborn which has led to the mass evacuation of 2,000 people.

Alarm raised after black smoke seen

The alarm was raised after a large amount of thick black smoke was seen coming out of an inspection cover on the pavement.

Iain B

The electrical fire under the pavement in Holborn has led to

2,000 people being evacuated from nearby buildings.

Fire 'coming out of drains'

Iain B

‏tweeted this picture of the Kingsway electrical cable fire saying smoke was "literally coming up out of the drains".

Iain B ‏

'Burning rubber'

Will Perrin of Talk About Local

tweets: Kingsway fire 1343 firemen all appeared relaxed some burning rubber smelling smoke coming through grating

Kingsway incident: Holborn station closed and buses diverted

Elaine Okyere

BBC London News

I've just spoken to

Transport for London and the Holborn station closure is in connection with the electrical fire in Kingsway. Some bus routes are also on diversion - check before you travel and police are advising motorists to avoid the area.

William Ng

Kingsway incident

BBC London 94.9's Anna O'Neill

tweets: Heading to Holborn where a major incident's been declared after an electrical fire. 2000 ppl evacuated. More to follow

2,000 evacuated from Kingsway

Motorists are being advised to avoid Kingsway in Holborn by the Met Police, after 2,000 people were evacuated from the area.

Chibby Ese

Six fire engines and 35 firefighters and officers are at the scene and waiting for utility companies to disconnect the power supply before tackling the blaze, the

London Fire Brigade said.

'Major incident' closes Kingsway

Fire crews are dealing with an electrical fire among cables under the pavement on Kingsway, Holborn, the

London Fire Brigade has said. The road has been closed on both ends and police have declared a major incident.


The alarm was raised after smoke was seen coming out of an inspection cover on the pavement. A 25-metre safety cordon is in place and 2,000 people have been evacuated from nearby buildings.

Holborn station closed

Piccadilly line

‏tweets: Holborn station is currently closed while we respond to a local power failure