December 12 2013 Latest news:
Friday, October 25, 2013
Passengers who were trapped on a Tube train at Holland Park which filled up with smoke could have been injured, an initial report into the incident has found.
Panicked passengers had to force open the doors of the train after smoke filled carriages on August 25. The train was stopped with the first half of the first car in the tunnel after an emergency alarm was pulled.
An initial report released today by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said: “Nobody was injured in the incident, but the RAIB considers that 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.
The Central line train was held at the station, which was closed for 30 minutes.
A video of the incident was put on YouTube by Adam Pajda, who wrote: “People desperate to get out of the train. It’s a central line at Holland Park. Train is partially in the tunnel. Fire can be smelled in the air. The doors refused to open. Station was being evacuated.”
Passengers can be seen in the video trying to pull the doors of the train, which is still partially in a tunnel, apart from the outside to let people inside the train out, while others, including a woman with a pram, can be seen pushing the emergency button a number of times.
The RAIB said that the “train operator was not aware that a fault with the brakes on one car in the train was generating smoke and fumes”.
The report continued: “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. However, the doors could not be opened to sufficient width to allow most people to leave the train.
“Some people outside the train operated the fire alarms on the platform, and this initiated an automatic station evacuation sequence. Evacuation announcements could be heard by the passengers trying to leave the train.”
The RAIB has appealed for witnesses to the incident to come forward.
It said on its website: “Can you help? Were you caught up in the accident at Holland Park on August 25 at 6.35pm?
“A train departing Holland Park station was stopped by the operation of a passenger emergency alarm after smoke was seen to enter the train. Passengers tried to open the doors and some climbed out using the car-end doors.
“Were you on the train? Did you operate a passenger emergency alarm? If so, the RAIB is keen to hear from you as part of its independent safety investigation.”
Anyone witnesses can email firstname.lastname@example.org in confidence.