At least 500 people were evacuated from their homes following a "huge" gas leak in the southeast London suburb of Penge. After a warning by police, emergency services directed residents of Penge Lane and Queen Adelaide Road to four reception centres in order to shelter them from the cold weather.

Police, firefighters, ambulances and the Red Cross arrived at the scene shortly before 11pm on 2 December. They cordoned off the area while engineers worked hard to fix the problem.
Bromley police sergeant Lance Chenery on his Twitter account said: "On scene with @MPSBromley dealing with a serious gas leak in #Penge #SE20 large evacuation of residents."

Bromley MPS on its Twitter account wrote: "Huge Gas Leak Penge Lane/Queen Adelaide Road. Houses being evacuated. Please avoid this area. Road closures remain in place in Penge ... 4 reception centres housing evacuees. Community spirit pulling through."

The evacuated residents were allowed back into their homes at around 5am, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said. Sergeant Gareth Starr added that some residents were moved from reception centres to hotels.

After the emergency services brought the situation under control, Bromley MPS tweeted: "Delighted but cold residents start returning to their homes in Penge ... Christmas slippers coming in useful!"