Police arrest 23-year-old man after five injured in explosion at Southgate tube station

Police cordoned off Southgate tube station after an explosion injured five people (PA)

A 23-year-old man has been arrested following a small blast at a London Underground station believed to have been caused by a faulty drill battery, British Transport Police (BTP) said.

The man, from Enfield, north London, was held on suspicion of carrying out an act likely to cause an explosion to injure or damage property, and endangering safety on the railway.

He has been released under investigation pending further inquiries.

Five people were injured after the explosion at Southgate tube station during Tuesday evening’s busy rush hour.

Officers were called to reports of people running at Southgate Tube station shortly after 7pm last night, while a man on a ‘packed’ escalator said some people had been ‘trampled’ in the commotion.

London Ambulance Service said two people had been taken to hospital and three others were treated at the scene in north London for minor injuries.

People on a packed escalator rushed out of the station following the explosion (PA)
It is believed the explosion was caused by a battery short circuit (PA)

A spokeswoman said: ‘We have treated three patients at the scene for minor injuries and have taken two people to hospital.’

It is thought the explosion was caused by a faulty drill battery, while BTP confirmed the incident was not believed to be terror-related.

The Metropolitan Police said: ‘It appears at this stage that the cause of the explosion was a battery short circuit.

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‘The Met Police and BTP are working together to establish the full facts.’

James Ayton, 34, from Southgate, was on the ‘packed’ escalator when he saw a ‘quick burst’ of flames at the top and said everyone ‘legged it’.

He said there had been a ‘very rapid whooshing sound’.

British Transport Police confirmed the incident was not believed to be terror related (PA)

He added: ‘A few people got trampled on 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.’

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan praised emergency services for ‘a swift and professional response’ to the incident.