Trapped on smoke-filled Tube

An official report reveals that terrified Tube passengers were trapped for nearly four minutes on the Underground as their carriage filled with smoke in August.

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Emergencies and evacuations rare on the Tube

Peter McNaught, London Underground's Operations Director, said: "London Underground has an excellent and continually improving safety record and such incidents on the Tube are very rare."

Women climbs out between Tube carriages after smoke appears at Holland Park in August Credit: Adam Pajda

McNaught added: "We apologised fully to our customers, worked hard to resume services as soon as possible and our staff were on hand on the platform to assist those who were leaving the train. We have fully assisted the RAIB in their enquiries, as well as carrying out our own investigation.

Driver unaware fault with brakes was 'generating smoke and fumes'

The uncontrolled evacuation at Holland Park is still under investigation. In its report today the Rail Accident Investigation Branch said the train operator was not aware that a fault with the brakes was generating smoke and fumes.

London Underground has also indicated that the train may have simultaneously suffered an electrical fault on one of its motors, which could have created a loud noise.

As soon as the train stopped passengers tried to get out. Since the doors had not been opened, people in the train and on the platform attempted to pull the twin-leaf doors apart.

Approximately two minutes after the train stopped, a small number of passengers started to exit the train using the inter-car doors at the end of each carriage, and then climbing over the inter-car barriers (see picture below) to reach the platform.

During this time, the Train Operator was attempting to establish what had happened, and the train doors adjacent to the platform remained closed.

– Rail Accident Investigation Branch


Terrified passengers stuck for nearly four minutes on carriage rapidly filling with smoke

Terrified Tube passengers were stuck on a carriage which was rapidly filling with smoke for three-and-a-half minutes.

An official report into the accident at Holland Park Station on 25 August says that while the main doors were still shut, some passengers tried to squeeze out by opening the side doors between carriages.

Pictures from: Adam Pajda

Despite the panic, no one was injured. However the Rail Accident Investigation Branch said:

"There was potential for injuries to occur because the train was heavily loaded and a large number of people were prevented from leaving the train for almost four minutes after it stopped."

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