Passengers evacuate smoking train in south-east London

Passengers evacuating the train Passengers said they saw smoke rising from the train

Passengers were forced to evacuate a smoking train at a south-east London station.

The Southeastern service from Gravesend to Charing Cross came to a standstill halfway into the platform at Hither Green railway station at 07:56 BST.

Passenger Andrew Lake said he heard "a loud thud" before smoke began rising.

The incident closed parts of the route for two hours, causing disruption for commuters.

'Dark smoke'

Mr Lake said: "There were sparks to start and you think that happens every now and again... but there was a lot of dark smoke and it was coming in the carriage, people were shutting the windows."

"People started to panic and shouted there's a fire."

Some travellers were able to leave the train via the platform, while others had to walk to the station along the tracks.

Southeastern, which operates the route, said replacement buses were used to help commuters continue their journeys.

'Distressing event'

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the incident and normal service has been resumed.

The company said it could have been caused by a component in the train overheating, which they say caused the train to smoke.

A spokesman said: "This was an understandably distressing event for the passengers onboard the train this morning.

"Thankfully we've had no reports of any passengers injured. We're fully investigating the cause of the problem to make sure this doesn't happen again."

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