Southgate station explosion: Five people injured after blast at north London Tube station

Short circuit in portable drill blamed for 'minor' blast which sparked panic among commuters

Chris Baynes
Tuesday 19 June 2018 21:33 BST
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Southgate station explosion

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Five people have been hurt after a “minor explosion” at an underground station in north London.

Two people were taken to hospital and a further three were treated for minor injuries at the scene following the blast at Southgate just after 7pm. No one is thought to have been seriously hurt.

The explosion followed reports of a suspicious package at the station, but Scotland Yard said the incident was not believed to be terror-related.

Specialist officers examined the scene of the explosion and believe it was caused by a short circuit in a portable drill battery, said a police spokesman.

British Transport Police and the Metropolitan Police were working together “to establish the full facts”, he added.

The Met said it was called called at 7.03pm to reports of “an explosion and people running at Southgate underground station”.

Witnesses said they could smell burning from outside following the explosion.

“I was at Southgate station when this commotion started,” wrote a Twitter user. ”I could smell burning (like rubber) and saw multiple people hurrying for the exits.”

The Piccadilly line station was cordoned off by officers and sniffer dogs were pictured at the scene.

An London Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We sent multiple resources to the scene, including a number of ambulance crews, our hazardous area response team, a medic in a fast response car, an advanced paramedic and an incident response officer.

“We have treated three patients at the scene for minor injuries and have taken two people to hospital.

“We remain on scene, working with other emergency service colleagues.”

Fire crews were also sent to the scene.

Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the TSSA transport worker union, said: “Our thoughts are with those caught up in this incident and their loved ones.

“It’s too early to speculate on what exactly happened but thankfully there appear to be no major injuries or loss of life.”

Residents of nearby homes said they had been evacuated by police.

“Got escorted out of my flat next to Southgate tube station,” tweeted one woman. “All cornered off but we’re not getting many answers. I have no bra on, one hand painted and my hairs wet.

“People just lining the streets at this point.. like something out of a film right now.”

A nearby gym was also reported to have been evacuated.

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