Office workers lunching in Victoria Embankment gardens ran from the scene in terror. A workman said: "There was a flame which went about 20 feet in the air and then a couple of explosions. People in the garden were agitated. People were running up and down the road."
Parts of Charing Cross station and the junction of the Strand and Villiers Street were cordoned off. An accountant who works nearby said: "It was like an earthquake."