Gas leak shuts London's Charring Cross station

Central London buildings were evacuated overnight

London Fire Brigade station manager Brett Loft said: "This is a large gas leak in the street and as a precaution we've evacuated people and Charing Cross Station is closed".

There is severe disruption in London's West End due to a gas leak at the Strand.

"Fire crews using detection equipment have identified high levels of natural gas in the atmosphere".

Witnesses described chaos as doormen of the Heaven nightclub ordered partygoers to leave while guests at a nearby hotel were moved into emergency accommodation.

The spokesman continued: "It is ongoing and engineers are down at the scene trying to isolate the leak".

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People have been advised to avoid the area.

Charing Cross and Waterloo stations remained shutting off into rush-hour this morning amid emergency work to isolate and fix the leak.

A 100metre cordon has been placed around the Strand while the Metropolitan police and the London Fire Brigade work with the National Grid to fix a ruptured Gas main.

"We are sorry for the inconvenience caused".

Hotels and businesses have been evacuated from the area while members of the public have been urged to stay away from the scene. "We are working to sort it out as quickly as possible", the spokesperson noted.

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Transport for London tweeted that "A4 Strand/Northumberland St is closed" between Trafalgar Square and Bedford Street.

Twitter user @cutiepidalecki posted: "We were just in Heaven and the whole club got evacuated". Literally chaos. Crush on the stairs.

Westminster Council, which had earlier set up a rest centre, announced residents were "safe to return home". "Security being knocked aside".

According to reports, 1,450 people have been evacuated. "The whole area smelt of gas, and we called the site engineers who came to investigate".

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