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Tube hit by disruption amid claims of 'collapsed tunnel'

Services suspended for much of the morning between Piccadilly Circus and Elephant and Castle causing severe delays along the rest of the line
  • @bobjwilliams

There was confusion this morning over the exact cause of rush-hour disruption on part of the London Underground amid claims that part of a tunnel had collapsed.

An incident took place on the Bakerloo line between Waterloo and Embankment in central London, and initial reports claimed that part of the tunnel had fallen-in.

However, Transport for London have since claimed the incident was due to a 'minor tunnel defect' and said there was no 'collapse or partial collapse.'

Services were suspended for much of the morning between Piccadilly Circus and Elephant and Castle causing severe delays along the rest of the line.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport union, had said earlier this morning, "Our reps understand that the suspension of Bakerloo line services is due to a partial tunnel collapse at Embankment that is currently under investigation.

"This emergency incident exposes TfL's cavalier attitude to the work of its emergency response unit and exposes once again their willingness to chance their arm on public safety."

Twitter reports by the RMT union had also claimed the obstruction had been caused by a tunnel collapse, however, the union later clarified that the incident had in fact been caused by a bump in the tunnel wall due to rain water.

This morning's disruption comes during a three-day strike over pensions by RMT members who maintain the Northern, Piccadilly and Jubilee lines.

The strike began on Tuesday afternoon and is due to end tomorrow afternoon – despite the dispute there has been little disruption to services across the network.

Nigel Holness, London Underground’s operations director, disputed the claim there had been a partial tunnel collapse this morning saying,

"There is no tunnel collapse in the Bakerloo line, nor is there any flooding or any injuries. It is wrong and irresponsible to suggest otherwise.

"Our engineers and emergency response unit are on site assessing the situation and have advised there is no flooding or risk of flooding or any collapse of the tunnel. We are working to resolve the issue and restore Tube services as soon as possible."

"The problems this morning are not in any way connected with the industrial action taken by some maintenance workers on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines, which has had no impact since the strike began."