Commuters on London Underground 'choked' during rush hour fire alert


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The Independent Online

Commuters have described how they struggled to breathe on a busy London Underground tube carriage this morning after it filled with smoke.

Passengers were “choking and screaming” on the Picacadilly Line train in a tube tunnel between Turnpike Lane and Manor House in north London, just before 8:30am.

One passenger claimed a fellow commuter had a panic attack after they were trapped for up to seven minutes, without any announcements being made over the train’s intercom, the Evening Standard reported.

A fire alert caused Manor House station to be evacuated, and commuters arriving at the stop had to walk half a mile to Finsbury Park to continue their journey.

TfL later tweeted to alert customers of the situation.

At around 1pm, TfL tweeted that a good service had a resumed on the Piccadilly line.

Passenger, Charlie Teather, 21 told the newspaper that the incident was “really terrifying”.

“At first I thought I heard a bang then the train suddenly stopped.

“Smoke was coming into the carriage and a woman next to me was struggling to breathe and had a panic attack.”

He added that after four or five minutes, the train pulled into the station.

"Everyone started hanging out of the doors trying to get some air and then an announcement told us all to get off and evacuate the station."

Station staff the stopped the escalators so passengers could run upstairs.

“It was a relief to get outside and then we were told the station was closing and we all had to walk to Finsbury Park.”

Other Tube users took to Twitter to describe the chaos.

One person said: "Teeny panic being stuck in tube tunnel while carriage fills with smoke, people screaming & choking. Fire at manor house, lovely commute."

Passenger Nick Blackford told the newspaper that he became covered in soot whilst in the Tube carriage.

"All of the vents on the carriage suddenly expelled black soot. It went all over me, and other passengers."

Nigel Holness, London Underground’s Operations Director, apologised for delays caused by the incident.

In a statement, he said: “Manor House station was closed today at 8.30am this morning due to reports of a smell of smoke on the westbound platform. The London Fire Brigade were called immediately to investigate and gave it the all clear at 9.40am.“

A London Fire bridge spokeswoman said: “We were called at 8.28am to reports of smoke under a train at Manor House station but we found nothing and the case has been passed back to Transport for London.”