As if photos of smoke streaming from underneath manhole covers weren't dramatic enough, as a result of last night's blaze in Holborn, power in an entire section of central London was knocked out - plunging major thoroughfares including Kingsway, Holborn, Aldwych and the Strand into an eerie darkness.
Here's what it looked like from above:
All a bit ‘Wolf Hall’ at Somerset Hse from top of Eye last night pic.twitter.com/1O319EHLzP— Hamish Thompson (@HamishMThompson) April 2, 2015
London blackout - the view from Waterloo bridge. Large chunks totally in the dark! pic.twitter.com/AhPkGOeCp6— Ziad Al-Hasso (@Blueskizid) April 1, 2015
Shows at the Lyceum, Duchess and Aldwych theatres were all cancelled, after the London Fire Brigade ordered the power to be switched off. "As this was likely to be an electrical fire, we had to ensure the power was off before we applied water to extinguish it," said assistant commissioner Peter Cowup.
Here's the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in near-darkness:
To help locals, emergency power generators were called in:
Emergency power trucks lined up to rescue aldywch from blackout. pic.twitter.com/ZbHizfG7sK— Ziad Al-Hasso (@Blueskizid) April 1, 2015
Here's a rather blurry view of the Strand:
The darkness was made more eerie as flames erupted from the pavement:
Firefighters worked into the night to contain the blaze, which was still underway this morning, closing businesses around the area.
In a statement, London Fire Brigade assistant commissioner Peter Cowup added:
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.