On Air Now
Early Breakfast with Jenni Falconer 4am - 6am
23 January 2018, 07:11
It could be a difficult journey to work if you're commuting from Kent and East Sussex into London this morning.
Almost 1,500 been told to leave homes, businesses, hotels and nightclubs along The Strand overnight.
Southeastern says trains into Charing Cross will be delayed, cancelled or diverted all morning.
Witnesses described "chaos" as doormen at the Heaven nightclub ordered them to leave after the alarm was raised at around 2am, while guests at the hotel were moved into emergency accommodation.
London Fire Brigade (LFB) said it was called to the scene at after high levels of natural gas were detected at the scene in Craven Street near Charing Cross station.
UPDATE: #LondonCharingCross is likely to be closed for some time following a gas leak nearby. The exclusion zone is in place until the emergency services are satisfied it can be lifted. For more information & to check your journey https://t.co/Y82MoNc4dU pic.twitter.com/GSzlmhmJYY— Southeastern (@Se_Railway) January 23, 2018
The Strand, a major route through central London, has been closed entirely and a 150m cordon put in place while National Grid engineers try to isolate the leak.
An LFB spokesman said: "We are assisting police on the Strand after a ruptured gas main was discovered using detection equipment and high levels of natural gas were detected in the atmosphere.
"As a precaution, approximately 1,450 people have been evacuated. They are from a hotel and a night club.
"The Strand is completely closed and we are asking people to avoid the area.
Gas engineers continue to work to isolate the gas leak on #Strand. Firefighters have a covering jet out just in case its needed. #CharingCross remains closed so please find alternate routes #rushhour https://t.co/BstLLR9N7Q pic.twitter.com/lO1Ao4pc4H— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) January 23, 2018
"We do not know the cause of the gas leak at this stage. It is ongoing and engineers are down at the scene trying to isolate the leak. There are still high readings of natural gas in the area."
Trains up from Kent are expected to be disrupted until at least midday.
A Network Rail spokeswoman said: "Charing Cross station is currently closed owing to a gas leak in a nearby road.
"We will reopen the station as soon as we have clearance from emergency services that it is safe to do so. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused."