Flames are seen escaping from a manhole cover as fire crews tend to the underground cable fire at Lincoln's Inn Fields / Getty

Thousands of people were evacuated from a road in central London this afternoon

As many as 2,000 people were evacuated from Kingsway in the Holborn area of central London today, as firefighters worked to tackle an electrical blaze.

Emergency services were alerted to the fire shortly after 12:30pm, when a large amount of thick black smoke was seen coming out of an inspection cover on the pavement.

Some six fire engines and 35 firefighters and officers are at the scene, where a large safety cordon is in place. Fire crews are now waiting for utility companies to turn off power so they can tackle the flames “effectively”, a spokesman for London Fire Brigade said.

TfL is currently tweeting updates on the situation.

London Underground

Underground, Overground, and DLR lines appear to be unaffected by the fire.

Holborn, Temple and Monument stations have re-opened following an earlier closure.


As for those trying navigate the city by car, TfL Traffic News has tweeted:



The fire has hit near the heart of London's West End, where many theatres are based. The Aldywch Theatre has tweeted that tonight's performance of the Carole King musical Beautiful has been cancelled, likely due to the fire. However, a performance at the Royal Opera House will continue as planned.

Stagings of The Lion King, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Play That Goes Wrong have all been affected by the blaze, according to the website What's on Stage.

More to follow