News Walthamstow

Walthamstow Central evacuated due to fire alert

The station was briefly closed at the end of rush hour this morning

By Marco Marcelline

Walthamstow Central Underground Station was evacuated at around 9am because of a fire alert on the Victoria Line.

TfL staff at the station told the Echo that the underground station was back open around 9.30am after the London Fire Brigade (LFB) attended the scene and approved its re-opening.

Beatrice Ma, who was in the station this morning, said there were “hundreds” of people at the station when it was being evacuated. Beatrice said: “There was a bit of panic around and it was quite stressful, especially for those less able to move and parents with buggies”.

Beatrice said she was standing at the top of the stairs at the entrance/exit into the bus station, where she was able to get a good vantage point of the “completely packed” ticket hall area.

Beatrice added: “The station is not fit for purpose…it’s only a matter of time that something serious happens.”

She decided to take the bus to her destination of Tottenham Hale because it wasn’t clear to her if the Victoria Line was working.

A spokesman for TfL told the Echo: “There was a fire alert at Walthamstow Central this morning at around 0900 and the station was briefly evacuated. The LFB attended and gave the all-clear and the station has now reopened, with minor delays on the Victoria line.”

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TfL added: “There is also currently a fault with the down-escalator in the station which is in the process of being resolved, but this was not the reason for the station evacuation.”

In a Twitter post, Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy said she would be bringing “the lack of working escalators” to the attention of TfL as a “priority”.

In the post, Creasy alleged that the evacuation was triggered because of overcrowding caused by the out of service escalator.

However, TfL workers at the station emphasised that the station was closed because of a fire alert and not because of overcrowding. They told the Echo that the down escalator would be fixed this week.

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