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June 14, 2011

Fire in central London causes traffic chaos

Fire in central London causes traffic chaos

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Smoke still coming from the roof of Marconi House at about 2.30 p.m. local time, over 3 hours after the alert was raised.
Image: Bencherlite.

A fire on Aldwych, in central London, England, has led to serious traffic problems in the area since this morning. Many roads have been closed for some hours while firefighters attempt to extinguish the blaze. There are no reports of any casualties.

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The blaze is at Marconi House, a ten-storey building currently being converted into flats and a luxury hotel, near the church of St Mary le Strand, King’s College London and Somerset House. The alert was raised at about 11 a.m. BST (10 a.m. UTC). About 75 firefighters in 15 fire engines were sent to the scene, from depots including Homerton and Whitechapel in east London and Old Kent Road in south-east London. Ambulances, including hazardous response teams, and police officers are also in attendance.

Local roads, including Waterloo Bridge and parts of the Strand, have been closed to traffic, causing significant disruption to travellers. At least ten bus routes are affected, and the London Underground is accepting bus tickets for travel within the affected area.

The cause of the fire is unknown at present, but is located in the roof of the building. The smoke could be seen from large parts of central London, and was still coming from the roof some hours after it started.

When Wikinews returned to the area at 7.45 p.m. local time, traffic was still prevented from passing the building although the pavement on the south side of Aldwych (furthest from Marconi House) had been reopened to pedestrians. The scene was still under the control of the London Fire Brigade (LFB), with police cars and ambulances still in attendance. Waterloo Bridge and the Strand were still closed to vehicles, with about fifteen fire engines or LFB command vehicles parked close by and many hosepipes running across the road. Some smoke could still be seen coming from the roof of the building, but less than before. Some damage to the roof was also visible.

Smoke as seen from Waterloo Bridge

Smoke as seen from Waterloo Bridge at about 2.30 p.m.
Image: Bencherlite.

Emergency services on the scene at about 2.30 p.m.

Emergency services on the scene at about 2.30 p.m.
Image: Bencherlite.

The scene at about 7.45 p.m, with London Fire Brigade hoses running along the closed road.

The scene at about 7.45 p.m, with London Fire Brigade hoses running along the closed road.
Image: Bencherlite.

Marconi House, under conversion into a hotel and flats, is at the west end of Aldwych, by the north end of Waterloo Bridge.

Marconi House, under conversion into a hotel and flats, is at the west end of Aldwych, by the north end of Waterloo Bridge.
Image: Bencherlite.



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August 16, 2010

Runaway train causes chaos on London Underground

Runaway train causes chaos on London Underground

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Monday, August 16, 2010

A London Underground engineering train ran away and travelled four miles on the Underground’s Northern Line early on Friday morning, resulting in part of the Northern Line, which carries 500,000 passengers daily, being closed for much of the day. The runaway train apparently had an engineering defect.

The London Underground, also known as the Tube, reported that the engineering train had been working on the High Barnet branch of the Northern Line when it broke down at 5.25 a.m. BST (0425 UTC). It was attached to an out-of-service passenger train to be dragged northwards when, for reasons which are being investigated by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, it broke free near Archway station at 6.44 a.m. and started rolling southwards. The train ran through six stations before it was finally brought to a halt by a slight incline in the track at Warren Street at 6.57 a.m.

Passenger Tom Redfern, on the preceding train at Archway, described what happened to the BBC: “As soon as we pulled away the driver came on the tannoy and said, ‘There is an emergency, will everyone move towards the front of the train’. There was a ripple of panic. I went from half asleep to a big adrenaline rush. I thought, ‘Is this it?'”

The passenger train was rerouted onto the City Branch of the Northern Line, and bypassed all stations until Moorgate in an attempt to keep ahead of the runaway, while the runaway was routed down the Charing Cross Branch.

Mr Redfern said: “We went full speed. We knew the situation was dangerous because we were going fast. Even by the driver’s voice, we could tell it was serious.”

London Underground director Richard Parry said that at no time was the runaway closer than 1 kilometre (0.6 miles) to a passenger train. Service was suspended between Finchley Central and Archway, and between Camden Town and Kennington via Charing Cross, while investigations into the cause of the runaway took place.



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June 1, 2008

Seventeen arrested after party on London Underground

Seventeen arrested after party on London Underground

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

The underground was very crowded as a result of the event
Image: Annie Mole.

Seventeen people have been arrested after a party, attended by hundreds of people, took place on the London Underground to mark the last day that drinking alcohol was legal while travelling on the Tube.

There was a heavy police presence at the scene.
Image: Annie Mole.

The new ban prevents people from consuming, or carrying any alcoholic drinks while travelling on the London Underground. The restriction was announced by Boris Johnson soon after he became the new mayor of London.

Local police have said that the party, which was intended to just be an enjoyable evening, finished with an “unfortunate” ending. Several tube stations were shut due to the disruption caused by the large number of people; Liverpool Street, Euston, Euston Square, Aldgate, Gloucester Road and Baker Street were closed. The BBC has reported that some of the tube trains may have been damaged, despite a heavy police presence.

Jeroen Weimar, from Transport for London commented on the incidents.”We are encouraging our passengers to show a bit more respect and to be more considerate and involve other peoples’ views and other passengers views as they make their journeys,” he commented. “And clearly drinking alcohol can create a culture whereby people feel it’s okay to do that sort of thing, it’s okay to get more drunk when you’re travelling.”



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September 25, 2007

Transport for London wins first Anti-Social Behaviour Order against graffiti vandal

Transport for London wins first Anti-Social Behaviour Order against graffiti vandal

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Billy Murrell, a 17-year-old from Plumstead in S.E. London

Billy Murrell, a persistent graffiti vandal from South East London, has become the first recipient of an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (Asbo) granted to Transport for London (TfL) by Greenwich Magistrates. The civil order also bans him from the top deck of buses throughout England and Wales for three years.

Murrell, a 17-year-old from Plumstead, has a history of convictions for criminal damage on public transport, including vandalising a Tube carriage in Brixton station and for damaging buses and other public property using marker pens.

This is Transport for London’s first Anti-Social Behaviour Order against a graffiti vandal — TfL was granted the power to apply for Asbos by the Home Secretary in September 2006.

The Anti-Social Behaviour Order was issued at Greenwich Magistrates Court on 12 September and also bans him from carrying any permanent marker pens or any glass cutting equipment on London Underground, railway property or any other transport provider’s property.

Metropolitan and Transport police have been made aware of Murrell’s Asbo, and have distributed his photo.

In detail, Murrell is prohibited from:

  • Entering any depot, siding or other part of London Underground property or railway property or any transport providers property which is not expressly open to the public whether on payment or otherwise throughout England and Wales
  • Carrying the following articles, in any area specified (above) or in any public place, namely any form of unset paint in any form of container, any form of permanent marker pen, any form of shoe dye or permanent ink in any form of container, any form of paint stripper in any form of container, any form of grinding stone, glass cutting equipment, glass etching solution or paste, throughout England and Wales
  • Aiding, abetting, counselling or encourage any person who was attempting or committing any form of unlawful damage towards any property not belonging to or under the direct authorised control of the defendant throughout England and Wales
  • Travelling on the top deck of the any public transport bus within England and Wales

If without reasonable excuse the defendant does anything which he is prohibited from doing by this order, he shall be liable to a detention and training order, which has a maximum term of 24 months – 12 months of which is custodial and 12 months in the community

Upon turning 18 he will be liable to imprisonment up to five years.



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July 20, 2007

Heavy rain causes flooding across the UK

Heavy rain causes flooding across the UK

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Flooded entrance to London’s Victoria Station
Image: Frankie Roberto..

Heavy rain and thunderstorms have hit several areas of the UK today, causing flash floods and disrupting some transport links. The UK Met Office have issued severe weather warnings.

In London, parts of Victoria Station were inches deep in water, with rain pouring in through leaks in the roof. Many shops were forced to close, and many trains were cancelled or delayed. On the London Underground network, the Circle and District lines were suspended due to flooding, with several other lines experiencing major delays, and at least nine stations having to close.

Many of the worst-hit areas have seen schools closed, and driving conditions have been deteriorating, with police advising extra caution whilst travelling on roads affected by standing water.

The flash flooding follows a month of unusually wet weather, in which several areas have had to evacuate people to temporary shelters set up in schools and community centres.

Related News

  • “Heavy rain causes severe flooding in UK” — Wikinews, June 25, 2007

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July 16, 2007

UK transport firm Metronet facing administration

UK transport firm Metronet facing administration

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Monday, July 16, 2007

A London Underground station with train.
Image: DoorFrame.

Transport company Metronet, the firm responsible for upgrading three-quarters of London tube system, is facing administration following a preliminary decision from rail arbiter Chris Bolt which limits the amount that London Underground (TfL) is obliged to pay for cost overruns to £121 million. The company had asked for £551m.

The arbitrations follows a row over who should pay for the overspend, estimated at between £1.2bn and £2bn in total. Metronet have claimed that the costs are due to changing requirements from TfL. This was disputed however by TfL and the Mayor of London, who has said previously that the costs were due to “management incompetence”.

The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, has previously stated that he will not give Metronet one penny more than he is legally obliged to, and that if they go into administration TfL will step in and take control.

The company was awarded the tube contract under a Public-private partnership arrangement, which was a central policy of the Labour government, but fiercely (and legally) contested by the London Mayor.

The Metronet board have said they are considering their position and will make a statement later today or tomorrow.

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July 5, 2007

London Underground train derails leaving passengers trapped

London Underground train derails leaving passengers trapped

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Thursday, July 5, 2007

Bethnal Green tube station

A westbound London Underground train has derailed between Mile End and Bethnal Green on the Central Line shortly after 9am BST during the morning rush-hour leaving hundreds of passengers stranded who had to walk along the tracks to leave at the nearest station.

Transport for London have said that 20 people received medical attention with five taken to hospital with minor injuries including breathing difficulties. A lot of dust is said to have been disturbed during the incident.

A London Underground spokesman said that “We are investigating a report that at around 9am this morning a Central Line train derailed in a tunnel between Mile End and Bethnal Green. LU is looking into reports that there was an obstruction on the track.”

Passengers initially feared that a bomb had exploded but a TfL employee on the train was able to calm the situation by suggesting that he thought it was a derailment. This was later confirmed by the train driver.

Chris Christofi who was on the train described what had happened to the BBC: “We felt a massive jolt underneath the train which caused the train to move up and down and sideways. There were some windows that seemed to blow in and explode and there was some soot that came into the carriage. There was a lot of people crying and upset, a lot of people falling over. We thought there’d been a bomb.”

In a statement, British Transport Police Chief Superintendent Ellie Bird said that “there is nothing to suggest that this a terrorist-related incident”.

Central Line services remain suspended between Leytonstone and Liverpool Street causing severe delays on the rest of the line.

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July 3, 2007

Controlled explosions take place as police enquiry into UK bombings continues

Controlled explosions take place as police enquiry into UK bombings continues

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

New Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Force

A suspicious bag has undergone a controlled explosion outside a London Underground station, as has a car outside a mosque in Glasgow, Scotland.

These police actions come in the wake of failed terror attacks involving car bombs in London and at Glasgow International Airport on 29th and 30th June.

The terror threat level in the UK remains critical, indicating that an attack could be expected imminently and high security is in evidence on mass transport routes, while the police continue their investigations. Earlier this morning, a controlled explosion took place on a suspicious package discovered outside Hammersmith Station on the London Underground system. The scare led to the closure of Hammersmith and Barons Court stations for one hour.

Two other stations, Tower Hill and East Ham, were closed in similar circumstances. All four stations have now been reopened.

Sky news reports that three controlled explosions took place on a car outside a mosque in Glasgow, in order to allow police to gain entry to it. The mosque itself is not being linked to the terror attacks.

The Muslim Council of Britain has condemned the attacks, and has urged Muslims throughout the country to assist in police investigations.

The police force is continuing its investigations throughout the country, with an open appeal to the country for vigilance in reporting anything suspicious.

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Anti-Terrorist Hotline Number
For providing information to authorities about terrorist activities, contact the anti-terrorism hotline at: 0800 789 321

Related news

  • “Eighth suspect connected to failed UK bombings, arrested in Australia” — Wikinews, July 3, 2007
  • “Further arrests following terror attacks in London and Glasgow” — Wikinews, July 2, 2007
  • “Glasgow International Airport begins to reopen; arrests made and houses searched” — Wikinews, July 1, 2007
  • “MI5 terror threat warning level raised to ‘critical'” — Wikinews, June 30, 2007
  • Car driven into Glasgow International Airport” — Wikinews, June 30, 2007
  • Car bomb defused in central London” — Wikinews, June 29, 2007

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Eighth suspect connected to failed UK bombings arrested

Eighth suspect connected to failed UK bombings arrested

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Brisbane International Airport.

Reports say that authorities in Brisbane, Australia have arrested an individual connected with the failed Glasgow and London bombings in the United Kingdom on June 29 and June 30. Australian media reports that the man was arrested at Brisbane International Airport yesterday at 11:00 p.m. AEST (UTC+10).

The man has since be named as Mohammed Haneef and Australian Attorney-General Philip Ruddock says that Haneef is cooperating with authorities and has not been charged with any crime as of yet.

Police in the U.K. confirm that the arrest has been made saying, “he remains in custody.”

“Yes there was an arrest last night but I will stress at no stage was there any threat to the Brisbane Airport,” said Jim Carden, a spokesman for the airport.

Mohammed Haneef is being described as a 27 year-old male who is a qualified medical doctor and reports say that he was leaving the airport and had a one-way ticket to Pakistan.

Haneef is employed at the Gold Coast Hospital in Queensland. Haneef is not an Australian citizen. It is reported that Haneef is from India.

A total of eight suspects have been arrested, six of which are doctors or studying to be doctors.

The terror threat level in the UK remains critical, indicating that an attack could be expected imminently and high security is in evidence on mass transport routes, while the police continue their investigations.

Earlier this morning, a controlled explosion took place on a suspicious package discovered outside Hammersmith Station on the London Underground system. The scare led to the closure of Hammersmith and Barons Court stations for one hour.

Two other stations, Tower Hill and East Ham, were closed in similar circumstances. All four stations have now been reopened.

Related News

  • “Controlled explosions take place as police enquiry continues” — Wikinews, July 3, 2007
  • “Further arrests following terror attacks in London and Glasgow” — Wikinews, July 2, 2007
  • “MI5 terror threat warning level raised to ‘critical'” — Wikinews, June 30, 2007
  • Car driven into Glasgow International Airport” — Wikinews, June 30, 2007
  • Car bomb defused in central London” — Wikinews, June 29, 2007

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March 23, 2007

British police detain 2005 London bombings suspects

British police detain 2005 London bombings suspects

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Three men suspected of involvement in the July 7 suicide bombings in London have been detained by terrorist police, in the first major arrests in the case following the attacks following a lengthy police investigation.

Two of the suspects were detained at Manchester Airport while they were attempting to board a plane to Pakistan, while the other was found in Leeds.

The arrests in Manchester occurred around 1300 GMT while the arrest in Leeds took place around 1600 GMT.

Fifty-two people were killed in the 2005 bombings on three London Underground trains and buses. The devices used were detonated by four bombers.

Police are able to hold the suspects for twenty-eight days under the new anti-terror laws. The four men have been held on the suspicion of the commission, preparation, or instigation of terrorist acts.

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