Hundreds cleared from central London after gas leak

Hotel guests moved and stations closed after early hours leak from capital’s ageing pipework

Workers are evacuated from offices on a street adjoining The Strand in central London on January 23, 2018 after a gas leak closed The Strand and Charing Cross railway station. 

Almost 1,500 people were evacuated from a hotel and night club in central London overnight and two train stations were closed following a gas leak, authorities said on January 23. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN
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A gas leak led to hundreds of people being evacuated from a central London hotel and the closure of two major railway stations during morning rush hour.

A nightclub was cleared and guests at a nearby hotel moved into emergency accommodation after the alert was raised in the early hours. Some 1,450 were moved out of the affected areas.

The capital’s ageing gas pipe network is being replaced. A fire official said there had been a number of recent leaks.

The leak was detected by the Strand in central London, close to the city’s government district at Whitehall, major tourist draws such as Trafalgar Square and the West End theatre district.

Trains were diverted and officials said it could take hours to check buildings to allow people back in.

"Our priority is to get the train stations opened as soon as possible, followed by the buildings,” said gas supplier Cadent.