A fireball exploded in a garage underneath London’s Elephant and Castle train station on Monday afternoon around 1.45 pm.
In videos and photos shared online, smoke could be seen rising across the capital’s skyline from beneath the railway at the south London station as horrified commuters watched on.
According to Metro UK, ten fire engines and 100 firefighters were on the scene to tackle to blaze. Five people are being treated at the scene by the London Ambulance Service crew and one taken to the hospital.
Underneath the railway arches three commercial units, four cars, and a telephone box had caught fire in the incident, London Fire Brigade confirmed.
Fire could be seen exploding out of the side of the station, in a video taken by a bystander.
Father of three, Kiran Patel, who filmed the video, said he felt “lucky to be alive and described a “massive boom” after an explosion at a garage just metres from where he was standing.
The 55-year-old told the Standard: “There was a massive boom and then a wall of heat hit me like I have never experienced before. It was like someone had opened an oven in my face.
“Everybody was scattering running for their lives I thought I was going to die, I thought of my family. The police told us to run it was like something I would imagine out of a terrorist attack. I’m lucky to be alive, there was panic in people’s eyes.”
Mr. Patel said emergency workers had told him the fire and explosion could have been triggered by a generator in the garage.
He added: “From what they were saying they were talking about the generator as a possible cause. It’s incredibly that it looks as if no one was killed. I will play those scenes back in my mind though.”
A huge cordon remains in place around the blaze scene.
Another witness was on a building site nearby when smoked plumed into the air before an “explosion like a bomb” rocked the scaffolding he was working on.
The construction worker, 20, said: “There was a massive blast like a bomb going off, it rocked my scaffolding it it was terrifying. I thought it was a terrorist attack.”
Among the witnesses, one wrote: “Lots of black smoke, then an explosion and large fireball erupted.
“I’m now engulfed in black smoke so can’t seanymorere.”
Others added: “Jesus Christ, scenes from Elephant and Castle fire. #London.”
London Fire Brigade urged Londoners to avoid the area as emergency crews attended the scene.
They tweeted: “Ten fire engines and around 70 firefighters are attending a fire at railway arches near to #ElephantCastle railway station.
“Please avoid the area and close all doors and windows.”
They added: “Three commercial units underneath the railway arches are completely alight and four cars and a telephone box are also alight near #ElephantandCastle Railway Station.
“Road closures are in place and people are advised to avoid the area and keep windows and doors closed.”
A restaurant worker near to Elephant and Castle station was evacuated after the fire.
Alex Leckie, 30, assistant manager at Tupi, said: “The entire building was evacuated, we began to smell smoke and the store owner went to check, we saw smoke billowing out and what I’m told is the mechanics were on fire, the smoke pillar started enveloping the apartment blocks as well and we kept hearing intermittent bangs.
“The police have indicated it could be some time (until they are allowed back inside). They have repeatedly pushed the crowds back even from the Castle Square Park and cordoned off the roads, there is a very, very heavy presence.
“At this point, emergency crews have everyone well clear of the area.”
“All lines through Elephant & Castle are currently blocked. The fire brigade are assessing the situation,” Thameslink tweeted.
Watch the video below…