Clapham Common Tube passengers smash windows to flee as train appears to fill with smoke

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
British Transport Police said the smoke was caused by “brake dust which can often be confused with burning”

Commuters travelling on the London Underground smashed the windows of a Tube train to flee as the carriages appeared to fill with smoke.

A video posted on social media appears to show a man taking a hammer to one of the Northern Line tube windows to allow travellers trapped inside to escape, while other footage shows panicked commuters trying to force their way out of windows from inside the carriage.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

London Fire Brigade said crews attended the scene on Friday evening (5 May) following reports of smoke, but found no sign or evidence of a fire. It said around 500 people left the train before firefighters arrived and it had not received any reports of injuries.

Clapham Common underground station in London being evacuated amid a fire alert (Photo: Nigel Ingofink/PA Wire)Clapham Common underground station in London being evacuated amid a fire alert (Photo: Nigel Ingofink/PA Wire)
Clapham Common underground station in London being evacuated amid a fire alert (Photo: Nigel Ingofink/PA Wire) | Nigel Ingofink/PA Wire

It is understood that the smoke was caused by the brakes of the train. The fire brigade said: “Investigations are ongoing but the report of smoke is believed to have been caused by the train’s brakes.”

A British Transport Police spokesman added that the smoke was caused by “brake dust which can often be confused with burning”.

Tube passenger Nigel Infofink was on the affected train when the incident happened at around 6pm.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He posted a video on Twitter which showed broken windows on the train and passengers filing out of the station at Clapham Common, and captioned the footage: “Clapham Common tube emergency! Just evacuated.”

People leaving the platform at Clapham Common underground station after being evacuated (Photo: Nigel Ingofink/PA Wire)People leaving the platform at Clapham Common underground station after being evacuated (Photo: Nigel Ingofink/PA Wire)
People leaving the platform at Clapham Common underground station after being evacuated (Photo: Nigel Ingofink/PA Wire) | Nigel Ingofink/PA Wire

Speaking to the PA news agency, he said: “The train stopped suddenly with half the carriages in the station and there was no movement or announcements for several minutes. Then the lights went out and we could hear screaming towards the rear.

“Finally the driver told us to walk to the rear of the train and we exited a set of open doors to witness the scene of broken windows on the platform where other passengers had obviously panicked. There was a strong smell of burning around the carriages with the broken windows.

Mr Ingofink added that there was “ultimately an orderly evacuation”.

A Transport for London spokesperson said: “We’re sorry for the distress caused at Clapham Common. We are investigating the details of this incident.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.