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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 June 2006, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
King's Cross travel woes continue
Commuters at Finsbury Park
King's Cross commuters piled into Finsbury Park station at rush hour
King's Cross remains closed for a second day after a fire at a nearby site, causing disruption for thousands of commuters and residents.

The station and hundreds of homes were evacuated on Monday morning, because gas cylinders which heated up in the fire were threatening to explode.

All overground services are cancelled out of King's Cross, and are not likely to resume until noon on Wednesday.

Hundreds of homes are inside a 200m "exclusion zone" around the site.

We can't commence the 24-hour cooling period that we need to before we can lift the exclusion zone
John Doherty
London Fire Brigade

Commuters piled into Finsbury Park station in north London, during morning rush hour - where First Capital Connect services were running to and from Peterborough.

But there has been huge overcrowding at Finsbury Park as it struggled to take on the extra commuters from King's Cross - which is normally used by 60,000 travellers a day.

Some criticised the decision to keep the station shut, when it is 100m away from the gas cylinders.

But fire fighters said they had no option, if the cylinders exploded, shrapnel could reach the station.

Resident sleeps in the pub
About 20 displaced residents spent the night in a pub

Network Rail also said there were concerns that an explosion might knock over huge tower cranes onto its signalling centre.

John Doherty, of the London Fire Brigade, told BBC London: "We have been using the thermal imaging cameras equipped to the police helicopter to determine how hot the cylinders are that were involved in the fire yesterday.

"They are still showing signs of heat so we can't commence the 24-hour cooling period that we need to before we can lift the exclusion zone."

Network Rail said it was "constantly monitoring" the situation with the fire brigade, to determine when it would be safe to reopen the station.

(We slept on) the other side of the pool table, just on the floor
Bev Scriven
King's Cross resident

Problems during Tuesday's rush hour were made worse when London Underground's Central Line was suspended due to a signalling problem.

About 1,000 residents may not be allowed back home until Wednesday, of whom about 20 stayed in makeshift beds at a pub on Monday night.

"(We slept on) the other side of the pool table, just on the floor - but we had a blow-up airbed so it was fine," said one resident, Bev Scriven.

"We made a little camp and just slept there - it wasn't too bad."

On Tuesday, passengers travelling between Peterborough and London used First Capital Connect trains between Peterborough and Finsbury Park station.

There were two GNER trains per hour in each direction between Peterborough, Doncaster and the north.

A GNER shuttle service operated between Leeds, Wakefield and Doncaster.




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