1,450 people evacuated from London hotel and nightclub after gas main ruptures
Approximately 1,450 people have been evacuated from a nightclub and a hotel and a major railway station is closed after a gas main ruptured in the Strand, central London.
Witnesses described "chaos" as doormen at the Heaven nightclub ordered them to leave after the alarm was raised at around 2am, while guests at the hotel were moved into emergency accommodation.
London Fire Brigade (LFB) said it was called to the scene at after high levels of natural gas were detected at the scene in Craven Street near Charing Cross station.
The Strand, a major route through central London, has been closed entirely and a 150m cordon put in place while National Grid engineers try to isolate the leak.
An LFB spokesman said: "We are assisting police on the Strand after a ruptured gas main was discovered using detection equipment and high levels of natural gas were detected in the atmosphere.
"As a precaution, approximately 1,450 people have been evacuated. They are from a hotel and a night club.
"The Strand is completely closed and we are asking people to avoid the area.
"We do not know the cause of the gas leak at this stage. It is ongoing and engineers are down at the scene trying to isolate the leak. There are still high readings of natural gas in the area.
"We are working to sort it out as quickly as possible."
Revellers at the Heaven nightclub described trying to leave "as fast as possible"
"Evacuated from heaven because of a gas leak wow. Literally chaos. Crush on the stairs. Security being knocked aside," one wrote on Twitter.
Another, Chloe-Mai, said: "Lots of people trying to leave at the same time. as soon as the word evacuation was heard from security staff everyone was trying to get out as fast as possible."
A Network Rail spokeswoman said: "Charing Cross station is currently closed owing to a gas leak in a nearby road.
"We will reopen the station as soon as we have clearance from emergency services that it is safe to do so. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused."