Hundreds stuck in Tube derailment

Passengers were stuck inside the trains for about two hours

Hundreds of passengers were stranded in a tunnel and several left hurt when a Tube train derailed in London.

Up to six carriages came off the rails on the westbound Central Line between Mile End and Bethnal Green stations.

Transport for London (TfL) said 700 people were taken off the derailed train, and another stuck behind it, by about 1100 BST after a two-hour wait.

Howard Collins, of TfL, told the BBC that the derailment may have been caused by an obstruction on the track.

He said TfL officers and investigators were looking at storage materials.

"I think it's early to speculate whether it's a tarpaulin or other form of material," he said.

Crying and upset

Mr Collins added that it was the first derailment of a passenger train for a number of years.

A Central Line train came off the tracks at Chancery Lane in January 2003 injured 32 passengers and closed the line for 11 weeks.

Passengers speak of fears (external - login to view)

On Thursday morning, passengers were led down the track to Mile End station. A number of people suffered minor injuries, TfL said.

It said 20 people had received medical treatment, including five people who were taken to hospital with minor injuries such as breathing problems.

Chris Christofi, who was on the derailed Tube, said panic had broken out among the passengers who thought a bomb had exploded.

"We felt a massive jolt underneath the train which caused the train to move up and down and sideways.

"There were some windows that seemed to blow in and explode and there was some soot that came into the carriage.

'Uncomfortable and sweaty'

"There were a lot of people crying and upset, a lot of people falling over. We thought there'd been a bomb."

But a TfL employee in the same carriage calmed the situation down by telling everyone he thought it was a derailment.

The driver also quickly informed passengers what had happened.

Richard Porter, of the London Ambulance Service, said temperatures in the tunnel could have been around 26C (79F) to 31C (88F).

"People were uncomfortable and sweaty," he said. "The rescue operation was very swift.

"We had water and were helping people very quickly."

The train had just left Mile End station when it derailed.

The LAS attended the scene along with London Fire Brigade who sent 14 appliances, including four search and rescue vehicles.

Central Line services are suspended between Leytonstone and Liverpool Street, and there are severe delays on the rest of the line. Mile End and Bethnal Green stations are closed, and Bow Road outside Mile End station is closed westbound.

David Linley took this photo of the activity outside Mile End station in London

Jo Lambert: "This was taken from my office opposite Mile End Station."

Hannah Ostriwicz: "I was really shaken up. I'm home now and my Mum's making me a cup of tea."

Matthew Cameron sent in this image as he was evacuated from his carriage

Matthew Cameron sent in this image of passengers walking up the track to safety

Matthew Cameron sent in this image of the Central Line tunnel.

Martin Jacobson: "I was stuck on the derailed train for an hour and a half."