London Underground passengers forced to smash tube windows to escape after carriages fill with smoke

5 May 2023, 19:40 | Updated: 5 May 2023, 20:21

London Underground passengers forced to smash tube windows to escape as carriage fills with smoke
London Underground passengers forced to smash tube windows to escape as carriage fills with smoke. Picture: LBC / Alamy

By Danielle DeWolfe

A fire on the London Underground sparked panic on Friday evening, with passengers pictured smashing tube windows in a bid to escape.

Commuters aboard a Northern Line train at Clapham Common station were filmed fleeing, as glass lay strewn across the platform shortly after 6pm following the "strong smell of smoke and burning".

The incident, which took place on the train heading northbound, saw distressed commuters attempting to force the carriage doors open with little success.

One passenger described the scene as "turning into hysteria" as no directions were given over tannoys and other passengers could be seen running past the windows outside.

Footage of the incident shows widespread panic, as one woman begins smashing the window with her foot in an attempt to leave the train in what is understood to have been a fire alert.

A passenger who was on board the train noted the stampede began after the tube carriages started to fill with smoke.

British Transport Police for London said in an update: "We received a report of a faulty train at Clapham Common shortly before 6pm this evening, and we are aware of a video showing passengers trying to leave the train. The issue is believed to have been caused by brake dust which can often be confused with burning.

"There were no reports of any injuries and the incident has now been resolved."

Footage shows boards flashing 'Emergency' as passengers exit the station, with the voiceover stating "this is an emergency, please leave the station immediately".

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Footage of the incident shows widespread panic, as one woman begins smashing the window with her foot in an attempt to leave the train in what is understood to have been a fire alert.
Footage of the incident shows widespread panic, as one woman begins smashing the window with her foot in an attempt to leave the train in what is understood to have been a fire alert. Picture: LBC / Twitter

Twitter user @Kyra_Chan wrote: "Doors won't open despite repeated shouting and banging to attract attention. Passengers panicking. Finally lights go out and one door opens."

The Northern Line remains suspended until further notice.

The incident comes of the eve of King Charles III's Coronation, with thousands of tourists taking to London's transport network as they attempt to catch a glimpse of the royal procession.

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