London Underground train derails leaving passengers trapped

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Bethnal Green tube station

A westbound London Underground train has derailed between Mile End and Bethnal Green on the Central Line shortly after 9am BST during the morning rush-hour leaving hundreds of passengers stranded who had to walk along the tracks to leave at the nearest station.

Transport for London have said that 20 people received medical attention with five taken to hospital with minor injuries including breathing difficulties. A lot of dust is said to have been disturbed during the incident.

A London Underground spokesman said that "We are investigating a report that at around 9am this morning a Central Line train derailed in a tunnel between Mile End and Bethnal Green. LU is looking into reports that there was an obstruction on the track."

Passengers initially feared that a bomb had exploded but a TfL employee on the train was able to calm the situation by suggesting that he thought it was a derailment. This was later confirmed by the train driver.

Chris Christofi who was on the train described what had happened to the BBC: "We felt a massive jolt underneath the train which caused the train to move up and down and sideways. There were some windows that seemed to blow in and explode and there was some soot that came into the carriage. There was a lot of people crying and upset, a lot of people falling over. We thought there'd been a bomb."

In a statement, British Transport Police Chief Superintendent Ellie Bird said that "there is nothing to suggest that this a terrorist-related incident".

Central Line services remain suspended between Leytonstone and Liverpool Street causing severe delays on the rest of the line.