King's Cross station reopened after "Mr Sands" alert and evacuation over false alarm

Catherine Neilan
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King's Cross station was reopened after being evacuated this morning over an emergency alert.

Commuters reported being evacuated from the Underground during rush hour today following a tannoy announcement for "Mr Sands".

That is the code to alert staff and services including the police and London Fire Brigade to an emergency such as a fire. It's a long-standing code, first used in theatres where sand buckets were used to put fires out without alarming performers or audiences.

Tube trains did not at the Underground station for the duration of the alert.

But firefighters for the London Fire Brigade quickly discovered it was a false alarm, and the station was reopened within a relatively short period.

Transport for London tweeted that the station was being evacuated while it investigated a fire alert.

Earlier this morning, Hammersmith & City and Circle Lines were part suspended because of a signal failure at King's Cross.