Thousands of shoppers were evacuated from Westfield, Stratford in a security alert tonight (Friday 17 February).

While the reason for the evacuation is not known, shoppers reported being told that the smoke curtains were down, sparking fears of a fire.

Images posted on social media show people leaving restaurants and swarming out of the exits of the shopping centre.

The shopping mall, which is the largest in Europe, was closed for 30 minutes before an announcement was made that it was operating as normal, Mail Online reports.

However, the incident sparked concerns about the safety measures in place in the event of a fire.

Shoppers complained about the chaos of the evacuation and how it was poorly handled by staff.

A number of shoppers said they could not even see any fire marshalls.

"If it was real then people would of not got out," said one.

Westfield Stratford
Westfield shopping centre was evacuated on Friday evening Twitter/thanksfor1984