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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
Tube passengers trapped for hours
Commuters make their way out of the tunnel. Picture by Ben Brignell
Passenger Ben Brignell captured the evacuation on camera
Nearly 150 people were trapped for more than two hours when a Tube train got stuck underground in north London.

A signal failure stopped the Victoria Line train at 0020 BST on Tuesday, and another problem with traction current meant it could not be re-started.

Passengers were trapped between Highbury and Islington and Finsbury Park and were eventually led along tracks to safety.

Tube bosses apologised and said passenger safety was their priority.

An LU spokesman said: "None of the passengers needed medical assistance and buses and taxis were laid on to get them all home.

This is a shocking incident
Geoff Pope
London Assembly
"This incident is under investigation and we would like to apologise to passengers for any inconvenience caused."

The decision to evacuate the train was taken at 0200 BST and it took 50 minutes for the last of the 146 passengers to reach Highbury and Islington station.

Chris Charles, 37, who was travelling home to Hornsey when the train stopped, said although a couple of people were upset most remained calm.

"There was an announcement but we could only make out one word in four so we didn't really know what was going on.

"As always in these situations there was humour and a bit of banter but after about an hour and a half tensions started to come to the fore.

"What was most frustrating was that when we walked back to the station we were only about a minute's travelling time away so they could have stopped there and let us off."

'Hot and claustrophobic'

Graphic designer Ben Brignell, 28, was travelling home with his wife when the train came to a halt.

He said for the first 20 minutes, everyone was quite light hearted.

"Then a few people started panicking because it was getting quite hot and there was a claustrophobic person and a couple of people had a fit."

He went up the train to alert the driver and to ask for water to help them and said people were generally very friendly.

Inspector Chris Connell, from British Transport Police, told BBC London one woman had felt dizzy and had been seen by paramedics.

Geoff Pope, chairman of the London Assembly transport committee, said Tube managers and maintenance firm Metronet needed to improve the service.

"This is a shocking incident and there appears to be an increasing number of cases of Tube passengers being trapped on trains," he said.

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