Elephant and Castle fire: what happened near the London Tube station after explosions heard, and is it open today?

Firefighters tackled a blaze in Elephant and Castle, south London, after video on social media appeared to show a ‘fireball’

Around 100 firefighters battled a huge blaze near a railway station which caused a large plume of smoke to billow over south London.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said shortly before 4pm that the fire close to Elephant and Castle station was “under control”, but its crews will remain in place “for the next few hours to dampen down the scene”.

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What happened in Elephant and Castle?

A video of the blaze posted on social media showed an explosion leading to a burst of flames.

Two people were treated for smoke inhalation, London mayor Sadiq Khan said.

LFB said the fire is believed have started at some nearby garages.

A fireball is seen in footage posted on social media (Photo: Twitter / @MeganJearum)
A fireball is seen in footage posted on social media (Photo: Twitter / @MeganJearum)

The blaze was first reported at 1.43pm on Monday. Around 100 firefighters and 15 engines were at the scene at 3.18pm.

Three commercial units underneath railway arches were “completely alight” and six cars and a telephone box also caught fire, according to the brigade.

The railway station and nearby buildings were evacuated.

Rail lines running through the station, causing disruption to Thameslink and Southeastern services.

Northern Line trains on the London Underground were prevented from stopping at Elephant and Castle Tube station, but services later returning to normal.

A Metropolitan Police said: “There are significant road closures in place and the public are advised to avoid the area.

“The incident is not believed to be terror-related.”

Sara Scarpa, 25, lives in nearby apartment building Hurlock Heights and said smoke and the noise of the explosion had reached her window.

“We opened the window for a sec as you could hear people shouting, and we smelt something very very strong,” she said.

“The smoke (was) dying down a little… we heard an explosion and now it started again.”

Is the Tube station open again?

Following the fire yesterday, the Northern line was not stopping at Elephant and Castle. But Transport for London confirmed last night that the station was fully open again.