Paddington Station evacuated hours after Elizabeth Line opens

The station was evacuated shortly after 8.30am, just two hours after the opening of the new TfL service

Lucy Thackray
Tuesday 24 May 2022 09:54
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Paddington station evacuated hours after official opening of Elizabeth Line

The Elizabeth line was evacuated just two hours into its opening day after a £4 billion construction plan seven years in the making.

Paddington Station was evacuated shortly after 8.30am Tuesday, shortly after the grand opening of the new line at the central London station.

The “fire alert” that triggered the evacuation was found to be a false alarm, TfL has confirmed.

“It was a fire alert – I can confirm the station reopened a short while ago after we confirmed it was a false alarm,” a TfL spokesperson told The Independent.

Staff at Paddington told The Independent that the alert was triggered by a person pressing the emergency button, and that the station closure had lasted for just eight minutes following the evacuation.

Video posted to Twitter by Laura Bunting shows an emergency announcement being aired at the station, saying: “Due to a reported emergency, will all passengers leave the station immediately”.

Passengers are seen getting on to escalators to leave the London hub.

A Transport for London (TfL) representative told reporters a “fire alert” had closed the station.

Passenger Shiran Katsnelson posted video of commuters flowing out of the Paddington Station Elizabeth line exit, with the automatic evacuation message playing over a sound system.

Another passenger reported that the fire brigade had arrived.

Meanwhile, rail user Claire Smith tweeted: “Couldn’t wait to go on London’s newest tourist attraction @Crossrail but as we pulled into Liverpool Street they announced our train was terminating at Tottenham Court Road due to fire alarms going off at Paddington.”

Hundreds had gathered for the opening of the new TfL line, also known as Crossrail, at Paddington this morning. The first Elizabeth Line train departed at 6.33am.

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