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Major evacuation operation in London from stranded trains- ‘Meltdown’ on capital’s transport system

Train evacuation. Image: @MPSLatchmere via @LondonFire

Train evacuation. Image: @LondonFire

London Fire Brigade, Ambulance Service, British Transport Police and Met Police have been engaged in a major operation in South London to evacuate people from stranded trains in and around Clapham Junction.

A power supply failure on a hot day in London has left, what are believe to be from early reports, thousands of commuters stranded on trains that can’t move in any direction.

London Fire Brigade said firefighters assisted in the evacuation of passengers from a stranded train outside Clapham Junction station in Battersea.

Station Manager Nic Myatt who was at the scene, said:

We used a short extension ladder to assist Network Rail and British Transport police in detraining approximately 1,000 people along the tracks and on to a rail replacement bus service.

Network Rail said there was an electrical power supply problem between Wandsworth Common and Clapham Junction.

Chris Hawkswell of The London Ambulance service said:

We assessed 4 passengers who were feeling unwell after being on stalled trains. No one required hospital.

We sent 3 ambulances, 3 duty officers & @LAS_HART (hazardous environment medic unit) to the earlier train incidents in the Clapham Junction & Wandsworth Common area.

Spencer Park and Battersea Rise were closed and motorists were advised to avoid the area.

A crew from Battersea fire station attended the incident.

The Brigade was called at 10.03 and firefighters left the scene at 11.53.

The break-down in power at one of the largest and most complicated railway junctions in the world has had a catastrophic impact on the capital’s transport system.

Stations were temporarily closed with queues of commuters backing up into the streets outside.

Even at mid-afternoon Londoners are being advised to avoid Victorian Station.

British Transport Police had to hand out bottles of water to prevent stranded passengers becoming dehydrated.

Lambeth College lecturer and MA Radio Journalism distinction alumna, Sheila Smith was caught up in the chaos and took this picture of anxious travellers crowded into a station tunnel between the platforms at Clapham Junction.

Anxious commuters crowded into claustrophobic tunnel between Clapham Junction platforms. Image: Sheila Smith

Anxious commuters crowded into claustrophobic tunnel between Clapham Junction platforms. Image: Sheila Smith

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As passengers waited for hours in hot sweltering trains they turned to social media to talk about their frustrations.

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