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London Bridge fire: ‘Illegal pedicab’ blamed for blaze in arches that shut railway line



An illegal pedicab was the cause of the fire in a railway arch that caused chaos at London Bridge station on Wednesday morning, according to the London Evening Standard.


The battery-powered rickshaw, which was parked in a storage facility under the arches, is thought to have overheated and caused the inferno.

Train lines to and from London Bridge were disrupted and multiple buildings had to be evacuated.


London Fire Brigade said 10 fire engines and about 70 firefighters were scrambled to the scene in Union Street about 9.30am where a railway arch containing multiple vehicles was “completely alight”.



The blaze produced heavy smoke and those living or working in the local area were advised to keep their windows and doors closed. Trains to and from London Bridge are affected and several buildings have been evacuated," Station Commander Wayne Johnson stated.


Firefighters asked people working and living near the source of the fire to close their windows due to heavy smoke coming from the scene, and requested that others avoid the area around Southwark.


Both Southwark and London Bridge stations were closed until 3pm while firefighters tackled the blaze. There were also severe delays on the Jubilee Line.


The blaze was said to be “under control” by 11.20am, but fire crews remained on the scene.

The fire brigade said there were no reports of injuries, adding that investigators would begin probing the cause of the incident.


The fire is understood to have affected a car park beneath railway arches in Southwark, where several electric vehicles reportedly caught alight.


The Government has promised to introduce a licensing system for pedicabs in the forthcoming Transport Bill after a campaign by Nickie Aiken, the Tory MP for the Cities of London & Westminster.


Last year she put forward a Private Members’ Bill to regulate the industry. Some rogue operators have sparked concern over poor safety standards, antisocial behaviour and rip-off prices in and around the West End.


The power-assisted vehicles are typically pedalled by a rider with two seats in the back for passengers.


At present, neither Transport for London nor the borough councils have the ability to license or regulate the industry, though Westminster council has tried to prosecute some drivers who have caused annoyance by playing of amplified music.

The fire brigade said there were no reports of injuries, adding that investigators would begin probing the cause of the incident.

The fire is understood to have affected a car park beneath railway arches in Southwark, where several electric vehicles reportedly caught alight.




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