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Last Updated: Monday, 26 June 2006, 20:49 GMT 21:49 UK
King's Cross closure causes chaos
The fire at the building in King's Cross. (Picture from Paul Feris)
The fire has prompted fears of an explosion.
King's Cross station in London is still closed after a fire at a nearby building site raised concerns four gas cylinders on the site could explode.

Thousands of travellers have faced disruption while hundreds of residents have been told they may not be allowed back to their homes until Wednesday.

A 200m exclusion zone was set up as firefighters tried to cool the "extremely dangerous" cylinders.

Rail firm GNER said it was unlikely King's Cross would re-open on Tuesday.

About 630 people were led to safety and one person was treated for burns after the fire began on Monday morning.

All overground rail services were cancelled as King's Cross, normally used by 60,000 travellers a day, closed.

We are constantly monitoring the situation with the London Fire Brigade to establish when it will be safe to reopen the station
Network Rail spokesman

A London Fire Brigade spokesman said the fire had damaged about half of the eighth floor of the building.

The station was evacuated at 1105 BST and the exclusion zone was put in place in case the gas canisters exploded.

Robin Gisby, of Network Rail, told BBC London: "There are some very large tower cranes as part of the construction site.

"If there is an explosion, it could be over quite a wide area and the cranes themselves could come down onto some of our land and onto our signalling centre.

"As a result of that we are not able to run trains for the time being."

East Coast main line operator GNER was forced to turn around trains at Peterborough, while First Capital Connect trains between King's Cross and Cambridge and Sandy were suspended.

Hull Trains' services were also affected.

Inside the station
Thousands of commuters had to find different routes home

But Tube trains continued running, as did services at nearby King's Cross Thameslink station.

Network Rail said it would be "constantly monitoring" the situation with the London Fire Brigade, to establish when it would be safe to open the station.

Children at the Blessed Sacrament primary school were sent home and hundreds of families whose homes are inside the exclusion zone had to leave.

GNER said services to and from London would continue to be disrupted on Tuesday.

Its King's Cross services will start and terminate at Peterborough station instead.

Travellers can use First Capital Connect trains between Peterborough and Finsbury Park station in north London.

There will be two GNER trains an hour in each direction between Peterborough, Doncaster and the north, and a shuttle service between Leeds, Wakefield and Doncaster.

Passengers are advised to expect their journeys to take longer than usual.


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