Five people have been hurt after an explosion at an Underground station in north London, emergency services have said. Three were treated at the scene for minor injuries, while two more were taken to hospital.
Scotland Yard said it appeared the cause of the “minor explosion” was a battery short circuit.
A London ambulance service spokeswoman said: “We were called today at 7.02pm to an incident at Station Parade, N14. We sent multiple resources to the scene, including a number of ambulance crews, our hazardous area response team, a medic in a fast response car, an advanced paramedic and an incident response officer.
“We have treated three patients at the scene for minor injuries and have taken two people to hospital.”
James Ayton, 34, from Southgate, told the Press Association he was on the escalator when he saw a “quick burst” of flames at the top. He said the flames were “six foot plus” and people fled. Ayton said: “It wasn’t a bang. It was like a very rapid whooshing sound.”
He said the escalator was packed because passengers had just alighted from the tube train. Ayton said: “A few people got trampled on the escalator. There was screaming. An old woman got trampled on. I had to carry a woman up the stairs. I think she was in shock to be honest. She couldn’t walk, shaking.”
He said he saw a tube worker pick something up that was on fire and extinguish it but he added: “I think that was secondary rather than the cause.”
We remain at Southgate Tube station in London following a reported minor explosion. A small number of people have been treated at the scene by @Ldn_Ambulance.— BTP (@BTP) June 19, 2018
No serious injuries reported and enquiries continue. Continue to follow @BTP and @metpoliceuk.
Police advised people to avoid the area around the station. First reports to police said a suspicious noise came from inside Southgate tube station.
The Metropolitan police’s counter-terrorism command was initially brought in to help with the investigation. But British Transport Police said soon after that announcement that it did not believe the explosion to be related to terrorism.
Later, after specialist officers had examined the scene, a further update from the Met revealed that police believed the battery issue to be behind the explosion. The forces said inquiries were continuing.
Repeated warnings about the severity of the terrorist threat and the series of attacks Britain suffered last year means there is huge attention on such reported incidents now.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, responded to the incident by thanking the emergency services.
The incident at Southgate Tube station has now been confirmed as non suspicious. Thanks to @BTP, @metpoliceuk, @tfl staff and the emergency services for a swift and professional response. Follow @tfltravelalerts for travel updates this evening as services resume. https://t.co/AnT8iH3i6w— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) June 19, 2018
The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association’s general secretary, Manuel Cortes, said: “Our thoughts are with those caught up in this incident and their loved ones. It’s too early to speculate on what exactly happened but thankfully there appear to be no major injuries or loss of life.”