London power cuts continue for thousands overnight as electrical substation fire sparks evacuation

London Fire Brigade
London Fire Brigade at the scene of the fire in east London. Credit: LFB

A power cut that hit thousands across east London following an electrical substation fire is expected to continue overnight for some.

The blaze cut power to thousands of Londoners on Tuesday, closed the DLR and two busy road tunnels.

The internet and traffic lights also went down and hundreds of students evacuated from a college close to the scene of the fire in Poplar.

"The fire is causing power outages which could affect around 38,000 customers," London Fire Brigade's Colin Digby said earlier.

The whole of the Docklands Light Railway line was suspended, and Blackwall Tunnel and Rotherhithe Tunnel were also closed whilst crews work to make the scene safe.

The DLR had returned to good service by Tuesday evening, and The Limehouse Link Tunnel and Blackwall Tunnel had reopened.

Firefighter at the scene of the substation fire in Poplar Credit: LFB

The Rotherhithe Tunnel remained closed, Mr Digby said earlier in the evening as the fire was being brought under control shortly after 6pm.

Around 40 firefighters were called to the substation on Castor Lane in Poplar where a cordon was set up to keep people safe.

UK Power Networks initially hoped to restore power by 3pm but later updated their advice to between 10.30 and 11.30 on Wednesday, March 30 for the remaining nearly 2,500 customers still affected late into Tuesday evening.

Its update said: "We’re aware of a power cut affecting the E1, E1W and E14 areas of London. Our engineers are working to get the power on as soon as possible. For the latest information in your area visit our power cut map," UK Power Networks said earlier.

Areas affected by London power cuts

A list of affected postcodes showed areas further west were also without power:

  • BR2 0

  • BR2 9

  • CR4 4

  • DA16 7

  • DA2 7

  • E1 0

  • E1 1

  • E1 2

  • E1 3

  • E1 3

  • E1 4

  • E1 5

  • E1 8

  • E1 9

  • E14 0

  • E14 2

  • E14 3

  • E14 4

  • E14 5

  • E14 6

  • E14 7

  • E14 8

  • E14 9

  • E14 X

  • E16 2

  • E1W 2

  • E1W 3

  • E3 4

  • E3 5

  • E4 9

  • IG1 4

  • N4 2

  • SE1 6

  • SE23 1

  • SE5 8

  • SE8 3

  • SW19 1

  • SW19 2

  • SW1P 2

  • SW1X 9

  • SW6 6

  • W6 8

London Fire Brigade said the closure of the DLR, Blackwall Tunnel, Rotherhithe Tunnel and roads in the area could cause disruption for tonight's rush hour.