London

Centre Court at Wimbledon evacuated after small fire

Wimbledon Image copyright PA
Image caption About 3,000 people were evacuated as a precaution, fire crews said

An evacuation of Centre Court at Wimbledon had to be carried out because of a small fire, organisers have said.

The fire, discovered in an electrical plant room shortly before 21:00 BST to the side of the Wingfield Restaurant, happened an hour after close of play.

Security staff urgently moved remaining spectators out of Centre Court and away from the grounds.

A Wimbledon spokesman said it was thought an electrical fault may have caused the fire.

London Fire Brigade said about 25% of the plant room was alight and Wimbledon security staff were allowed to leave at 22:30 BST when it became apparent the problem had been contained.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A Wimbledon spokesman said the fire was thought to have been caused by an electrical fault

London Fire Brigade tweeted that 3,000 people had been evacuated from the stadium as a precaution.

The evacuation announcement briefly interrupted a Serena Williams press conference in the Millennium Building media centre, next to Centre Court.

A further announcement followed, requesting anyone on the tea lawn between gates four and five to evacuate.

Minutes later, everyone within the All England Club grounds was ordered to leave.

There had been an earlier incident on Court One but it was a drill, tournament officials said.

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