Fire in Holborn  finally extinguished
Electrical cable fire caused a mass evacuation in a London street yesterday, (April 1, 2015). BBC

Commuters faced further delays this morning as fire crews continue to tackle an electrical fire under a street, which caused major disruption in London yesterday (April 1).

Thousands of people were evacuated from offices including judges and lawyers from the Royal Courts of Justice, on the Strand after thick plumes of smoke engulfed streets due to an electrical cable fire that emerged from a manhole cover in Kingsway, Holborn.

Firefighters waited up to three hours for the utility companies to give the all-clear to turn off the power before they started to douse the flames.

London Fire Brigade were called at 12.39pm and brought the fire under control seven and half hours later. Holborn tube station was temporarily closed and West End shows such as the Lion King were cancelled.

The cause of the fire has not yet been established and Kingsway between Aldwych and High Holborn remains closed in both directions.

The scale of the operation has been reduced from 70 to 21 firefighters who remain at the scene and south part of Kingsway and surrounding streets are still cordoned off.

Motorists are being asked to avoid the area as road closures remain in place. Southampton Row was also closed and no traffic was allowed to travel northbound on Waterloo Bridge.

Transport for London is also warning bus services in the area are being diverted.

London Fire Brigade Assistant Commissioner Peter Cowup said: "This has been a technically difficult incident to tackle. The reason that the fire is still burning is because the service tunnel is hard to reach and although firefighters have been applying water through access points throughout the night, the complexity of the tunnel layout means that it will be some time until the fire is fully extinguished.

"However, the fire is contained and we are making steady progress and working with the utility companies and the police to bring this incident to a close."