Gas leak sparks evacuation of 1,000 people from West End theatres and eateries

Around 1,000 people have been evacuated from theatres and restaurants in London's West End after a gas leak, firefighters said.

Emergency services rushed to St Martin's Lane in Covent Garden shortly after 6pm on Tuesday.

The English National Opera cancelled a performance of La Traviata at the Coliseum and a showing of Quiz at the Noel Coward Theatre was also called off.

A London Fire Brigade spokesman said: "Crews have assisted the Metropolitan Police Service with the evacuation of a number of restaurants and two theatres.

"Approximately 1,000 people were evacuated as a precaution."

The evacuation came five days after a gas leak on the same street in the centre of the capital saw 100 people evacuated from the area.

The Metropolitan Police said officers evacuated a number of buildings after being called out at 6.02pm on Tuesday.

A spokesman said: "We are attending with the London Fire Brigade (LFB).

"No one is injured. There have been a few non-residential evacuations."

The LFB spokesman added that firefighters were currently standing by at the scene while the gas authority carried out excavation work.

It sent two fire engines and two fire rescue units to the incident in the busy tourist and business district which neighbours Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square.

The English National Opera tweeted: "We are very sorry to say that due to the gas leak this evening's performance of #ENOTraviata has been cancelled. We appreciate the inconvenience this causes our audience and we thank you for your understanding."

Delfont Mackintosh Theatres, which operates several West End theatres, said that "due to circumstances beyond our control" tonight's performance of Quiz at the Noël Coward Theatre had been cancelled.

Transport for London said a police cordon had been thrown up meaning that the street was shut to pedestrians but the incident had no impact on public transport in the area.