kings cross fire

Increase your radius to see more recent local stories. Kings Cross Station, London, UK. Staff and police went to investigate and on confirming the fire one of the policemen went to the surface to radio for the fire brigade. Part of a ground floor flat and the reception area of a six-storey block of flats were damaged by the fire. Coronavirus: are you caring for someone vulnerable? The inquiry opened at Central Hall, Westminster on 1 February 1988 and closed on 24 June, after hearing 91 days of evidence. 16 years of detective work and one surgical clip helped BTP detectives discover the identity of the body of Alexander Fallon: the last King's Cross fire victim to be identified. Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters were called to a fire at a flat on Birkenhead Street, in King's Cross at 4.45pm. PC Stephen Hanson, British Transport Police officer – speaking at the subsequent inquiry. {On the lower plaque: a list of 30 names in alphabetical sequence, followed by:} An unidentified man Later identified as Alexander Williamson Fallon {For the full list … There was just one … As well as the mainline railway stations above ground and subsurface platforms for the Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines, there were platforms deeper underground for the Northern, Piccadilly, and Victoria lines. Investigators labelled this behaviour of the flames lying down in the escalator the 'trench effect'. Most of the fatalities occurred when a flashover engulfed the ticket hall at the top of the escalators (hot air ignited and produced a ball of fire … How … King’s Cross St. Pancras Tube station is served by more lines than any other Underground station. Witnesses recalled seeing a firefighter wearing a white helmet just before the flashover telling passengers to get out. [51], The Nick Lowe song "Who Was That Man?" As well as the mainline railway stations above ground and subsurface platforms for the Metropolitan lines, there were platforms deeper underground for the Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines. An RMT banner at the commemorative event at Kings Cross. Following a fire at Oxford Circus station in November 1984, the ban was extended to all underground stations in February 1985. [54] The fire was the basis for an episode of Discovery Television's documentary series Seconds from Disaster. Fire Safety J., 18(1) (1992) 83-103. s 2 and 3). One of the victims of the King’s Cross Fire remained unidentified for many years, creating quite a mystery. Never miss an exhibition or event with the London Fire Brigade Museum updates newsletter. Crews found the body of Station Officer Townsley beside the badly burned body of a passenger at the steps leading up to the Pancras Road entrance of the station. The Moorgate tube crash in 1975 tragically resulted in 43 people being killed and 74 being injured. [31] A model of King's Cross station was built at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment, and using computer simulation software; this showed the flames lying down along the floor of the escalator rather than burning vertically before producing a jet of flame into the ticket hall. Until then, the Piccadilly line could only be reached via the Victoria line or Midland City platforms, and at peak hours in one direction only. Improvement to the Brigade's radio communications between firefighters below ground. It was allowed to burn for nine minutes before being extinguished. A carelessly discarded match caused the worst fire in London Underground's history, killing 31 people. Fire safety and Coronavirus - your lockdown to-do list, Supporting Fire Cadets – sponsors and partners. London Bridge was upgraded in conjunction with the Jubilee Line Extension project, which opened in 1999,[45] King's Cross St Pancras was substantially upgraded and expanded as a component of the High Speed 1 project in the late 2000s,[44][46] and Tottenham Court Road was expanded as part of the Crossrail project in the mid 2010s. Kings Cross and Euston were emptied after two separate fire alerts were sounded as the train passed through on the Victoria Line. [25] The inquiry found that the fire was most probably caused by a traveller discarding a burning match that fell down the side of the moving staircase on to the running track of the escalator. Although small to begin with, described by one firefighter as "about the size of a large cardboard box", it became more serious quickly. At Soho Fire Station, Station Officer Colin Townsley's space remains empty in memory of the fallen firefighter – and the members of the public who lost their lives that terrible day. Kings Cross has been saved as your Local News location Close + 5 miles + 10 miles + 20 miles + 30 miles. The fire was under control at 9:48pm and was out at 01:46am on 19 November. Wooden panelling was to be removed from escalators, heat detectors and sprinklers were to be fitted beneath escalators, and the radio communication system and station staff emergency training were to be improved. At about 19:30 on 18th November 1987 several passengers reported seeing a fire under a Piccadilly line escalator. Smoking was banned in all London Underground stations, including on the escalators, on 23 November, five days after the fire. [37] Fires were described as "smouldering"; and staff had little or no training to deal with fires or evacuation. The Kings Cross fire of 1987 is commemorated at the station where 31 people lost their lives 25 years ago. Wooden escalators were gradually replaced, some remaining into the early 2000s (those at Wanstead were replaced in 2003 and at Marylebone in 2004[40]) and as of 2014 the entire London Underground was operating on metal escalators, after the last wooden escalator at Greenford on the Central line was decommissioned on 10 March 2014. On 18 November 1987, at approximately 19:30, a fire started at King's Cross St Pancras tube station, a major interchange on the London Underground. The following people died in the fire at King’s Cross underground station on the night of 18th November 1987: Betty Afua Agyapong Terrence Alonzo Best Mark David Bryant Andy Burdett Elizabeth N. Byers Treena Chappell Dean T. Cottle Susheila N. Cottle Felix Dearden Neville H. Eve Jane A. Fairey Natalie A. Falco Alexander … [30], This test confirmed the initial eyewitness reports up to that point, but four expert witnesses could not agree as to how the small fire flashed over, with some concern that the paint used on the ceiling had contributed to the fire. When was the King's Cross fire? It is believed that Townsley spotted the passenger in difficulty and stopped to help her. However, this tragic fire has redefined policy on public transport, and led to changes that keep us all much safer today. What is the Juvenile Firesetters Intervention Scheme? Mr Fallon was 73 when he died. [2], At about 19:30 several passengers reported seeing a fire on a Piccadilly line escalator. He was killed in the fire; his body was found beside that of a badly burnt passenger at the base of the exit steps to Pancras Road. The nearly life-expired Northern line escalators were replaced as well and the Northern line station reopened, completing the return to normal operation, on 5 March 1989. Music magazines at the time (such as Smash Hits) carried adverts to call premium rate phone lines to hear the song, and the money from the phone call would then go to the charity for fire … A public inquiry by Sir Desmond Fennell published in November 1988, made 157 recommendations including: More than 150 firefighters and 30 fire engines were called to a blaze at King's Cross station at on the evening of 18 November 1987. Next Saturday, 18 November, marks the 30th anniversary of the Kings Cross fire. Six different lines service the station, including: Metropolitan, Piccadilly, Hammersmith & City, Circle, … Plot A lighted match is dropped by a smoker down a gap in the wooden escalator at the King's Cross tube station. [24], Smoking on Underground trains was banned in July 1984, over 3 years before the fire. On that fateful day 31 lives were lost and 100 people were injured. On 18 November 1987, a fire ripped through the Upper Booking Hall at King’s Cross Underground station. The investigators reproduced the fire twice, once to determine whether grease under the escalator was ignitable, and the other to determine whether a computer simulation of the fire—which would have determined the cause of the flashover—was accurate. [18], An initially unidentified man, commonly known as "Michael" or "Body 115" after its mortuary tag, was identified on 22 January 2004, when forensic evidence confirmed he was 73-year-old Alexander Fallon of Falkirk, Scotland. Before the King's Cross fire a report produced by the Department of Transport revealed that the Department's railway inspectorate had an establishment of 24 but that five posts were vacant. [17] The three escalators for the Piccadilly line had to be completely replaced, the new ones being commissioned on 27 February 1989, more than 16 months after the fire. More than 150 firefighters and 30 fire engines were called to a blaze at King's Cross station at on the evening of 18 November 1987. The publication of the report led to resignations of senior management of both London Underground and London Regional Transport. [17] Fire Brigade station officer Colin Townsley was in charge of the first pump fire engine to arrive at the scene and was down in the ticket hall at the time of the flashover. [10] The 30° angle of the escalators was discovered to be crucial to the incident, and the large number of casualties in the fire was an indirect consequence of a fluid flow phenomenon that was later named the trench effect, a phenomenon completely unknown before the fire. [51] Further commemoration services were held on 18 November 2002, the fifteenth anniversary of the blaze, on the twentieth anniversary in 2007 at the station itself,[51] on the twenty-fifth anniversary in 2012 at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament near the station[52] and on the thirtieth anniversary in 2017 at the station, with the laying of a wreath. The fire began at around 7.30pm in a machine room under the escalator on November 18 1987. [42] Consequently, Parliamentary bills were tabled to permit London Underground to improve and expand the busiest and most congested stations, such as London Bridge, Tottenham Court Road, Holborn and King's Cross St Pancras. They saw a fire about the size of a large cardboard box and planned to fight it with a water jet using men with breathing apparatus. [41], London Underground was also recommended by the Fennell Report to investigate "passenger flow and congestion in stations and take remedial action". [34] When the wooden treads of the escalator flashed over, the size of the fire increased dramatically and a sustained jet of flame was discharged from the escalator tunnel into the model ticket hall. With Robert Allwood, Benjamin Berger, David Berger, Daemonn Brody. [53], Memorial plaques commemorating the disaster were installed at St Pancras Church, unveiled by the Princess of Wales, and at King's Cross station. [36] Staff were expected to send for the Fire Brigade only if the fire was out of control, dealing with it themselves if possible. [11], Thirty fire crews—over 150 firefighters—were deployed. [55], Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}51°31′49″N 0°07′26″W / 51.5304°N 0.1239°W / 51.5304; -0.1239, A police car, three fire engines and an ambulance outside King's Cross, "Solved after 16 years – the mystery of victim 115", "How the final King's Cross fire victim was identified", "A Report for Dr A. Buchanan Dept. The trench effect and eruptive wildfires: lessons from the King’s Cross Underground disaster. The Fire Leaves a Mystery. London Underground was strongly criticised for its attitude toward fires. Buried in an unmarked grave, the charred body, which resembled a victim of Pompeii; crouched down and with their arms drawn in, was simply known by the tag which had … [48], Six firemen received Certificates of Commendation for their actions at the fire, including Station Officer Townsley who was given the award posthumously. This escalator connected the Piccadilly line with the mainland station. How did the King's Cross fire begin? Youtube video: Kings Cross - Seconds from disaster. A public inquiry was conducted from February to June 1988. Wooden escalators were gradually replaced with metal escalators on the London Underground. There was water fog equipment, but staff had not been trained in its use. The fire started under a wooden escalator serving the Piccadilly line and, at 19:45, erupted in a flashover into the underground ticket hall, killing 31 people and injuring 100. [8], At 19:45 there was a flashover and a jet of flames shot up the escalator shaft, filling the ticket hall with intense heat and thick black smoke,[9] killing or seriously injuring most of the people still in the ticket hall. Crime. [citation needed], Charles Duhigg in his book The Power of Habit discusses how bad corporate culture and inefficient management led to the disaster at King's Cross. After seven and a half minutes of normal burning, the flames lay down as in the computer simulation. But on 18 November 1987 that would change, as a flashover - a sudden and rapid spread of fire caused by smoke or fumes igniting - claimed the lives of 31 people at King's Cross. Hundreds of firefighters and members of the public paid tribute to fallen comrade Colin Townsley who died in the disaster. {On the top plaque:} King's Cross Disaster Fund In memory of the 31 people who died in the terrible fire at King's Cross underground station on the night of 18th November 1987. [21], Access to the Northern line platforms was indirect, its escalators connecting with the Piccadilly line. The blaze cracked concrete, stripped tiles from the walls and caused molten plastic to drip from the ceiling. Among those caught up in the fireball was Soho's Station Officer Colin Townsley, who had entered the underground with a colleague, Temporary Sub-Officer Roger Bell, of Clerkenwell Fire Station, to assess the situation. interpreted as being foreseen by the song. Plans to be kept outside stations in locations agreed with the Brigade. Major Connector. How the final King’s Cross fire victim was identified. Is firefighting the right career for you? The King's Cross fire claimed the lives of 31 people – including a senior ranked firefighter – and seriously injured many more at King's Cross station. Deeper underground are the platforms for the Northern line City branch, the Piccadilly, and Victoria lines. of Civil Engineering Canterbury University", "Youtube video: Kings Cross - Seconds from disaster. This sudden transition in intensity, and the spout of fire, was due to the previously unknown trench effect, discovered by the computer simulation of the fire, and confirmed in two scale model tests. It ignites wax under the escalator. Why do children set fires and signs to watch out for. [5] The police made the decision to evacuate the station at 19:39, using the Victoria line escalators. [22], A public inquiry into the incident was initiated by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. As the superheated gases pooled along the ceiling of the escalator shaft, the layers of paint began absorbing the heat. When both sides are alight, the flames are deflected towards the centre-line of the channel, their tips merging (as shown in Fig. King's Cross Fire is the 30th episode of Seconds from Disaster testing how did a fire killed people meters away. The pop-up buildings that leave a legacy. An escalator shaft led down to the Victoria line, and another led down to the Piccadilly line, and from that the Northern line. A review of the Brigade's Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The blaze reportedly began at about 1930 GMT in a machine room under a wooden escalator. Dropped matches ignited the contaminated grease and the fire began spreading. [3] Four fire appliances and a turntable ladder were sent at 19:36 by the London Fire Brigade. Architecture. King's Cross fire victims honoured 30 years on. Directed by Jan Klimkowski. One man was assisted from the flat by a member of the public before fire crews arrived. Watch Thames News Footage of the funeral. The thick smoke engulfed the ticket hall, obscuring the exits and hampering rescue efforts. When did fire brigades begin – and why? The conclusion was that this newly discovered trench effect had caused the fire to flashover at 19:45. [36], The publication of the report led to resignations of senior management of both London Underground and London Regional Transport. [4] The fire was beneath the escalator, and it was impossible to reach it to use a fire extinguisher. Staff were complacent because there had never been a fatal fire on the Underground, and had been given little or no training to deal with fires or evacuation. [28] The investigators found a build-up of lubricant grease under the tracks, which was believed to be difficult to ignite and slow to burn once it started, but it was noted that the grease was heavily impregnated with fibrous materials (fluff from clothes, tickets and other small litter, human hair, rat fur, etc). The ticket hall for the three tube lines was reopened in stages over four weeks. This item is linked to the Accident at Kings Cross on 18th November 1987. [6] A few minutes later the fire brigade arrived and several firemen went down to the escalator to assess the fire. from the 1990 Album Party of One tells the story of the only unidentified victim of the King's Cross Fire, identified in 2004 as Alexander Fallon. [15], Thirty-one people died[16] and 100 people were taken to hospital, 19 with serious injuries. Download this stock image: King's Cross Fire. Two months after the release of Actually, 31 people were killed in the King's Cross fire, which some [who?] King's Cross Fire The Reunion Sue MacGregor gathers together five people who were profoundly affected by the Kings Cross Underground fire, …

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