Victoria station was temporarily shut on Friday morning / EPA

Underground trains were stopped and passengers were shut out

Victoria Tube station was closed at the height of rush hour in London because of a fire alert caused by a faulty escalator.

A spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade said firefighters were called to the ticket hall at around 8am after people said they could smell smoke.

"We isolated it to a faulty escalator and left it in the care of London Underground," he added.

Disgruntled commuters described "chaos" in the station and being packed like "sardines" on overcrowded buses during the 40-minute closure.

Overground trains continued running as normal through Victoria and the Tube station has since reopened.